The not proven verdict and related reforms: consultation analysis

An independent analysis of the responses to the public consultation on the not proven verdict and related reforms which ran from 13 December 2021 to 11 March 2022.

Additional comments

190. Ten respondents opted to provide additional information in their consultation response. Some provided background information on themselves or their organisation to set the context for their response and / or welcomed the opportunity to respond to the consultation. A few also provided historical detail and background to the evolution of the Scottish legal system. Many of the points raised echoed those seen at earlier questions and included (for example) references to a need for more transparency within the criminal justice system, for example, explanations should be provided as to verdict decisions made by juries.

191. Other issues raised by respondents included:

  • Conflict resolution may be more appropriate for some non-violent allegations.
  • The negative impact the media can have on perceptions of the general public, jurors and their attitudes towards particular crimes or verdicts.
  • The potential impact that reforms could have upon the programming of hearings, staff and accommodation resources and costs involved in any relevant IT changes.
  • As well as providing more guidance and information for jurors, there is also a need for more guidance and information for victims at all stages of the criminal justice process.
  • Considering these reforms at this point in time should not be a priority, given the backlogs in summary and solemn cases brought about by the pandemic; rather the focus should be on building capacity and ensuring there are effective resources for all parts of the criminal justice system.



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