Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March 2011.

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Photo of Bill Aitken Bill Aitken Conservative

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 them, one sees that the issue is fairly simple. We are tied into the provisions in the 2010 act, and the issue of disclosure has quite appropriately caused tremendous excitement—to say the least—in Scottish legal circles in recent years.

The fact is that we have to operate under a code of disclosure. Many of us spent a great deal of time on providing input to the code, and it was agreed largely unanimously. Although what is being done today may seem on the face of it unnecessarily complex, it is necessary; otherwise there would be an inconsistency in the approach that is taken in two major pieces of legislation, which would be unfortunate to say the least.

Amendment 1 agreed to.

After section 13

Amendment 5 moved—[Kenny MacAskill]—and agreed to.

Schedule 2—Consequential amendments

Amendment 6 moved—[Kenny MacAskill]—and agreed to.