Importance of maintaining confidence in judicial system and rule of law

25 Feb

THE Faculty has released the following statement, in the name of a Faculty spokesperson, in relation to public debate surrounding the work of the Scottish Parliament’s Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints:

“The Faculty of Advocates is becoming increasingly concerned at the debate, both in the media and in parliament, in relation to the parliamentary committee into the investigation of harassment allegations.  The debate appears increasingly to be focussed on the courts and Crown Office.

 “The Faculty wishes to remind all concerned of the importance of maintaining confidence in the judicial system and in the rule of law. Maintaining that confidence requires, amongst other things, recognition of the importance of the independent role of the Lord Advocate, the independent role of the courts and, perhaps most importantly, the vital place of the verdicts of impartial juries in criminal proceedings.

 “No one in public life is beyond reproach, and healthy public debate surrounding the justice system is to be encouraged. However, when the public discourse fails to respect the basic tenets of the independence of the system, it is in danger of leading to irreparable harm. Such harm is something which might be to the detriment of Scotland as a whole in the long term.”