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Iain McKie

Major Enquiry into Crown Office

The announcement of a major inquiry into the effectiveness of Scotland’s prosecution service at first brings to mind recent controversies, such as the decision not to prosecute driver Harry Clarke over the Glasgow bin lorry crash. But instead, it is an exercise in assessing whether the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is equipped to deal with the challenges and changed landscape of the 21st century. And on that front, it is a necessary review of the criminal justice system.

I wonder if this enquiry will include the SCCRC.

I have concerns that this organisation has been given free reign to do whatever it feels like since it inception in 1999 and been letting down victims of miscarriages of justice to maintain the status quo.

Has their Chief Executive (Sheriff) been deciding cases on his own at stage 1 of their investigative process without the need of the Board?

Perhaps after aprox 20 years someone will tell us what their "interest of justice  test"actually is because nobody seems to know, including the SCCRC.

It does not fill me with confidence when MP's are recently publicly stating that they haven't investigated cases properly.

How many other cases have been neglected by their desktop reviews?

Iain McKie

As things stand I don't think it will include the SCCRC but your points are well made Davina.

The time is long overdue for a review of the SCCRC and it is time we pursued this aim.

I will try and  follow through in the not too distant future.

It is beyond belief that the SCCRC can say they are independent of the Justiciary when their Chief Exectutive has been a Sheriff for over a decade and their Board members have previously been sitting on High Court Appeals with other Senior Judges whilst investigating cases.

I agree, the quicker there is a review of this kangaroo organisation the better chance for victims of miscarriages of justice remedying their injustices.

As it stands, the SCCRC are simply not independent.
Iain McKie


Judiciary must be accountable

THE ongoing Justice Committee’s examination of Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) is long overdue and credit to its members for daring to attempt to shine a light on the inner workings of a system which over the years has arguably replaced its constitutional right to independence with self-seeking protectionism that would do credit to a secret society.

The Lord President, Lord Carloway, appears to show the same contempt for accountability and openness by refusing to give evidence to the committee and risks having himself and his fellow judges tarred with the same Crown Office brush (“Scotland’s top judge accused after letter over courts probe”, The Herald, November 22).

Many will remember the lead his Lordship took in the ill-advised and ultimately rejected call to remove the need for corroboration and this latest move leaves him open to accusations of arrogance.

The reality is we have a prosecution system in Scotland which is in need of a major overhaul and this is not something that Lord Carloway and his fellow judges can walk away from. They more than most see the often tragic results of a court system in chaos and surely have a duty where possible to add to the debate.

As your article states the court system is seen by many of those working in it as “under-resourced and overwhelmed by their workload” and the Police Federation’s description of courts as “jammed with cases, officers’ time being wasted, and victims of crime being let down” is sadly pertinent and very much to the point.

The independence of the Judiciary and Crown Office is an important safeguard to the power of the state but equally both must be accountable to the people and their representatives and be seen to be truly acting in the public interest rather than their own.

Iain AJ McKie,
27 Donnini Court, South Beach Road, Ayr. Forum Index -> Test Forum 1
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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.