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Justice Secretary needs to start listening to reform concerns

February 10, 2014 8:56 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP has saidWillie RennieWillie Rennie that the Justice Secretary should start listening to widespread concerns from the legal sector, charities and others over his justice reforms.

During an interview on BBC Sunday Politics Scotland, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill also sought to justify the over use of stop and search powers even though only a fifth of searches have secured a positive result.

Mr Rennie said:

"Kenny MacAskill's bolshie defence of his ill-thought-out reforms to the justice system was more suited to the football terraces than a senior Cabinet Secretary. His chants failed to acknowledge the chaos they could cause or address the concerns raised by senior voices from within the sector.

"He advocated binning Scotland's legal safeguard of corroboration whilst he is still unclear what safeguards would be put in place to prevent miscarriages of justice.

"He justified the over use of stop and search powers, even towards children under the age of 10, but admitted that only 20% of searches secured a result.

"Even as senior prosecutors today warn that these changes would heap pressure on a creaking justice system, the Justice Secretary says everything is working fine.

"No matter the evidence Kenny MacAskill believes he is always right.

"Kenny MacAskill needs to start listening to more and chanting less."