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Ministers must review test of ‘undue leniency’

18 Mar 2019

The Scottish Conservatives have called for the Scottish Law Commission to review the test of ‘undue leniency’.

The test of ‘undue leniency’ was identified as one of the reasons that the Crown Office did not pursue its appeal against the sentence of Christopher Daniel, who received no criminal record for repeated sexual assault against a minor.

Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary has written to Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Justice Secretary, asking him to empower the Scottish Law Commission to review this test, and ensure it remains fit for purpose.

In the letter, Mr Kerr wrote that “the problem lies… with the test of ‘undue leniency’ which may be restricting the Crown Office’s ability to appeal sentences it considers to be overly lenient.”

In a recent debate in the Scottish Parliament Mr Humza stated; “I have listened to what Conservative members have said about undue leniency and will, on reflection, discuss it with the Scottish Law Commission”.

The Scottish Conservatives have therefore formally asked that the Justice Secretary directs the Scottish Law Commission to review the test of ‘undue leniency’.

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary, Liam Kerr said:

“When a convicted child abuser walks free from court with no punishment, not even a criminal record, the system has failed.

“The Crown Office may have been restricted by the test of ‘undue leniency’ so the Scottish Law Commission must review this test to ensure this is not the case.

“I have therefore asked the Scottish Justice Secretary to formally empower the Scottish Law Commission to review whether the undue leniency test, as it currently stands is fit for purpose.

“While this outcome has been utterly devastating for the victim and her family, we must, at least try to ensure that no one else is treated in this appalling way.”