Criminal Justice Bill

Part of Justice and Law Officers – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 14 June 2007.

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Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party 2:15, 14 June 2007

This Government is conscious that legislation alone is insufficient, particularly in the area of justice. We have had a restored Scottish Parliament for only eight years but, clearly, our independent legal system—whether the constabulary or the offices of the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor General—served us well in the centuries prior to the Scottish Parliament being restored. It is quite clear that we have to ensure that legislation adds value to the institutions that have served us well. There is a role for legislation, and I have no doubt that it will be required, whether it originates from this Government or, indeed, elsewhere—we will be happy to take on legislation from the Justice Committee or Opposition parties.

Although the point is well made that we need to allow legislation that relates to institutions that deliver frontline justice and law services to have some opportunity to bed in, we will not hesitate to legislate where it is necessary to do so. However, I agree that there is some wisdom in the adage that those who legislate in haste repent at leisure.