Does the Solicitor-General accept that great distress was caused to my constituents when they learnt in a casual conversation with neighbours of the trial of the person accused of murdering their 16-year-old son? Does he accept that that was appalling? Does he accept that it is grossly offensive and insulting for the Lord Advocate to say that it is up to the individuals concerned to make inquiries of the procurator fiscal's office? Will he make sure that the review that is taking place will be based on making machinery available whereby bereaved relatives of murder victims will be notified automatically of the date when the trial is to take place?
I recognise that the hon. Gentleman's constituents were upset. I should explain that until recently there was probably no problem over this, inasmuch as one or more of the parents would be required to attend as witnesses to give formal evidence of identification. For good and proper reason, we seek as best we can to avoid that happening. I want to dispel any impression that there is any deliberate policy to avoid telling parents or spouses of these matters, and it is for that reason that my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate has said that he will carry out a review to ensure that the anxieties that the hon. Gentleman expresses do not arise again.