Public Inquiry into Emma Caldwell case

Independent review of murder investigation.

An independent, judge-led, statutory Public Inquiry will take place into the investigation of Emma Caldwell’s murder in 2005, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs Angela Constance has announced.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, the Justice Secretary told MSPs that it was time to apply fresh scrutiny to the case – to understand what went wrong, to ensure lessons are learned for the future and to provide answers to the victims and survivors involved.

Further details will be set out once live legal proceedings in the case have concluded and a chair of the Inquiry has been appointed. Ministers will work alongside the Chair and Emma’s family in setting and agreeing the terms of reference for the Inquiry.

The decision to hold a Public Inquiry was reached after the First Minister and Justice Secretary held discussions with Emma’s family, including her mother Margaret Caldwell, on Tuesday this week.

The Justice Secretary said:

“Margaret Caldwell and her family have waited far too long to get justice for Emma. I have expressed directly to them on behalf of the Scottish Government how deeply sorry we are for their loss, and for the pain and grief they have had to endure.

“Nineteen years have elapsed between Emma’s murder and a conviction, showing serious failings occurred in the investigation. Given this, along with the gravity of this case, the length of time that it took for justice to be served for so many women and the horrific extent of the sexual violence suffered by the victims and survivors, the case for holding a public inquiry is overwhelming. 

“The family want to have answers and deserve nothing less. The First Minister made clear that we would give serious consideration to the Caldwell family’s call for a Public Inquiry after hearing directly from Margaret Caldwell and her family, and pledged we would do so quickly. I am glad that now we have been able to answer their call by announcing that we will set up a Public Inquiry.”


Justice Secretary’s statement to the Scottish Parliament on the Emma Caldwell case


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