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Lib Dems respond to "sharp u-turn' on jury trials

April 1, 2020 11:00 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Responding to the announcement that the Scottish Government has withdrawn the section of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill that would suspend jury trials in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton, who lodged amendments objecting to the plans, said:

"The Scottish Government's sharp u-turn on its plans to end jury trials is important.

"People in Scotland have had jury trials for 800 years, through wars, disease and pestilence.

"When SNP ministers look at this again they need to remember that a shiver ran down people's spines at the idea they wanted to go further than any government in the world to end our system of justice.

"A pillar of our justice system must not be pushed to one side by the unilateral action of a minority government.

"People's lives depend on the outcome of these trials and Scots have been able to present their evidence to a jury for almost 800 years.

"There are ways we can keep jurors safe and keep our justice system intact."