Following the UK Supreme court’s Cadder ruling last year, the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill asked Lord Carloway to undertake a review to consider the implications of the ruling and make recommendations.
The Cadder ruling relates to an accused’s right to legal representation during police questioning, and has had a particular impact on sexual offences. Due to the difficulties in obtaining corroboration in sexual offences cases (because they often happen in private, with no witnesses) the police prior to Cadder were often reliant on admissions from the accused to help them build a case. Since the Cadder decision, defence lawyers seem to be routinely advising their clients to make no comment at all during police interviews, which is causing serious difficulties and has the potential to make prosecutions in rape cases even more difficult.
As well as considering questions relating to legal representation for the accused, Lord Carloway has also been considering broader issues relating to evidence, including the requirement for corroboration and whether or not juries should be able to draw an adverse inference if the accused remains silent and refuses to answer any questions. Rape Crisis Scotland has produced a briefing paper outlining our position on these questions raised by the Carloway Review and hope this will be helpful to other agencies planning to respond to the consultation. Click here to download the RCS briefing paper. The deadline for consultation responses is 3rd June 2011.
Published: 19th May 2011