Results 1–20 of 1975 for speaker:Bill Aitken

Scottish Parliament: Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (22 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: I agree with James Kelly, although perhaps for different reasons. As is generally known, I am a great supporter of the common law, which I believe has served Scotland well over the centuries. However, James Kelly is right to support these amendments today, and we will support them too. The cabinet secretary has had to lodge lengthy, convoluted and complex amendments, but when one looks at...

Scottish Parliament: Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill (22 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: It is appropriate that the final debate in this session should deal with an important legal principle. The principle of the rule against double jeopardy has been enshrined in Scots law down the centuries. It would be oppressive if we lived in a society in which the Crown or the prosecution service had carte blanche to prosecute time after time. No one in the Parliament would support that, but...

Scottish Parliament: Clydebank Blitz 70th Anniversary (17 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: I congratulate Des McNulty on bringing the matter before the Parliament. I speak as a member of a fairly blessed generation. Born post-war, I did not have to go and fight. My father had to, as did his father, who lost an arm in the process. Nor did I, as a child, live under the threat of being bombed. The second world war was the first war that the United Kingdom experienced in which the...

Scottish Parliament: Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (16 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: There were always going to be definitional difficulties. There is no doubt that when we sat down to establish whether a route forward was ascertainable, it was exceptionally difficult. I am not at all satisfied that there may not have to be some judicial determination of some of the phraseology that we intend to include in the bill. However, having been unable personally to come up with...

Scottish Parliament: Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill (16 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: Instances of domestic abuse in Scotland remain stubbornly—indeed, disgracefully—high. There were 51,926 incidents of domestic abuse in the last recorded year, which is unacceptable. Those incidents happened despite the best efforts of everyone concerned over the past 12 years. It is clear that, if there is a gap or lacuna in the protection that is being offered to the victims of such...

Scottish Parliament: Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill (16 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: I thank Mike Pringle for his kind remarks, which I appreciated. I hope that when the bill is passed, Rhoda Grant does not feel that because of what happened to section 2 she is getting only half the loaf—although half a loaf is clearly better than no loaf—because I do not think that that was the Parliament’s intention. The Parliament was confronted with a difficulty and it would have...

Scottish Parliament: Damages (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (3 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: Amendment 3 obviates a difficulty that could arise. Overall, consideration of this matter has revealed that we can no longer operate on the basis of the nuclear family. Times have changed and the law must move with them. The amendments that are proposed by Mr Ewing are satisfactory. Amendment 1 agreed to. Section 7—Assessment of compensation for loss of support

Scottish Parliament: Damages (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (3 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: Bill Butler has spent a lot of time and put a lot of commitment into getting the bill through the Parliament and his enthusiasm for having it implemented as soon as possible is entirely understandable. However, certain dangers could arise if we proceeded as he has suggested in amendment 5. The last thing that we want to do is to spoil the effectiveness of a very fine piece of legislation by...

Scottish Parliament: Damages (Scotland) Bill (3 Mar 2011)

Bill Aitken: When someone is killed or dies as a result of an industrial accident or illness or in the short and fairly traumatic circumstances of a road traffic accident, and where there is negligence and liability, the settlement should be achieved firmly, fairly and expeditiously. Bill Butler is right to say that the law is in need of clarity. It has become diluted over the years and is not as clear as...

Scottish Parliament: Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (3 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: The bill had its genesis in the Scottish Law Commission’s report on double jeopardy, which was published in December 2009. The report concluded that reform was needed in order to clarify and modernise the existing law surrounding double jeopardy. The bill is largely based on that report and seeks to achieve such reform. The Justice Committee met on four separate occasions to consider the...

Scottish Parliament: Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (3 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: That is an interesting point, and I concede that the issue could be fraught with difficulty in certain circumstances. We have to rely on the judicial processes that are carried out furth of these shores being adequate and affording the appropriate protections for accused persons. Stewart Stevenson’s point is not without merit. Section 11 allows a person who is convicted or acquitted of...

Scottish Parliament: Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (3 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: Although several matters are unreconciled at this stage, I am pretty certain that we are all moving in the same direction and that there can be a satisfactory outcome. It is important that we reassert what we are trying to do in the bill. We have had several interesting speeches—one was particularly interesting—and a lot of common sense has been spoken, but let me try to clarify what we...

Scottish Parliament: Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (3 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: We have that protection in respect of new evidence. I am confident that the High Court would set a fairly high bar. I turn to admissions. As Robert Brown correctly said, when a high-profile murder or other serious crime occurs, every deluded individual and his auntie seems to phone up the press claiming responsibility for it. The protection would be that the High Court would have to be...

Scottish Parliament: Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (3 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: That is one of the unresolved matters. I will consider it fully before it returns to the committee, but I am initially of the view that there is an argument for merging the two issues. That is how I see it at present, but I will take appropriate advice. In any event, the question of tainted acquittals presents a degree of difficulty. To some extent, we are inhibited in our knowledge of what...

Scottish Parliament: Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (3 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: Does the minister agree that summary cases could be dealt with in another way? Rather than seek a retrial, we could charge the accused—or anyone else involved—simply with attempting to pervert or perverting the course of justice. That would probably be tidier than going through the procedure again.

Scottish Parliament: Glasgow Sheriff Court (One-stop Shop) (3 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: 6. To ask the First Minister on what basis the Scottish Government decided to establish a one-stop shop at Glasgow sheriff court, increasing liaison between community service and social work staff. (S3F-2887)

Scottish Parliament: Glasgow Sheriff Court (One-stop Shop) (3 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: The prospect of the Scottish Government making community service tougher is remote, to say the least. Will the First Minister accept that we genuinely regard the measures as common sense? They will introduce some immediacy for community service, which I hope will reduce the appalling breach rate to which Mr Gray referred. At the same time, will the First Minister recognise our disappointment...

Scottish Parliament: Forced Marriage etc (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (2 Feb 2011)

Bill Aitken: The committee’s report, for which I thank the convener, is fairly comprehensive. It is unable to evidence a substantial number of cases; however, although the cases that it finds may be few in number, they are undoubtedly large in impact. Clearly, the Government must act in respect of something that is completely disgraceful in modern times. The system that we have at present is more than...

Scottish Parliament: Custodial Sentences (20 Jan 2011)

Bill Aitken: Could the cabinet secretary share with us the Government research that prompted it to introduce the policy initially? Leaving aside the issues that Mr Kelly has raised, the majority of the cases in which short periods of imprisonment were imposed were like those of the three-time disqualified and drunken driver, the shoplifter with 40 previous convictions, the domestic abuser, and people who...

Scottish Parliament: Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (19 Jan 2011)

Bill Aitken: An evaluation of all Scottish civil protection orders was carried out in 2003 and identified problems, which fell into two main categories: access to justice and a failure to provide a robust response to breached orders. The bill attempts to address those problem areas in relation to domestic abuse. The Justice Committee met on four occasions to consider the bill and to take oral evidence...


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