The SCSN has published its response to the Scottish Government’s Victims, Witnesses, Crime and Justice (Reform) Bill. The SCSN supports the creation of a Victims and Witnesses Commissioner and the establishment of a specialised sexual offences court. We also welcome the introduction of anonymity for those reporting sexual crime.
We also support a reduction in jury size from 15 to 12 and the introduction of an 8 to 4 majority for guilty verdicts.
However, we do not support the abolishing the Not Proven verdict or introducing single judge trials with no jury with particular concerns that these changes are driven by a desire to increase convictions and will increase the chances of more unsafe convictions.
You can read our full Consultation Response here.