Spousal Witnesses (Compellability)

Part of Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 28 June 2007.

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Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party 11:40, 28 June 2007

The Executive consulted last summer on the options for reform in this area of the law but drew very few responses. Under the law as it stands, one spouse cannot be compelled to give evidence against the other spouse who is accused of a crime but can be so compelled when the offence is committed against them. The law is set out in section 264 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. I will consider the issue in more detail before deciding whether it should be included in any future legislation.