The Scottish Conservatives have launched the consultation for their Victims Law, which aims to put victims of crime at the heart of Scotland’s justice system.
The Member’s Bill, introduced by Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Jamie Greene MSP, would overhaul the justice system by abolishing Not Proven, fully implementing proposals like Michelle’s Law, and fixing the Victim Notification Scheme.
The Victims Law would make seven key changes to the justice system, including:
- Abolishing the controversial Not Proven verdict
- Implementing Michelle’s Law to give victims a voice when criminals are considered for release
- Implementing Suzanne’s Law to prevent the release of killers if they refuse to say where a victim’s body is buried
- Giving all victims the opportunity to make statements in court
- Ensuring victims are always notified if no further action is taken on their case
- Reforming the Victim Notification Scheme
- Introducing statutory timescales for Fatal Accident Inquiries
Victims and their families have long campaigned for many of the proposals. Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Jamie Greene MSP has introduced the legislation to put pressure on the government to finally act.
A draft proposal for a Member’s Bill has been lodged by @jamiegreeneUK. The proposed Bill would seek to increase the rights of victims of crime, remove the not proven verdict and set timescales for Fatal Accident Inquiries.
— Scottish Parliament (@ScotParl) December 16, 2021
Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Jamie Greene MSP, said:
“I am delighted to launch the consultation for this Bill, which could make a huge difference to the lives of victims and their families.
“This is one of the most ambitious proposals for an opposition Bill ever. It would fundamentally overhaul Scotland’s justice system and fix serious flaws that cause a great deal of pain for victims of crime.
“Far too often, the SNP’s soft-touch justice system lets criminals away lightly. This detailed and sensible Bill would change that and instead put victims first.
“Scottish Conservative proposals for a Victims Law would create a stronger justice system that puts victims at its heart. I urge stakeholders to participate in my consultation and I urge politicians from all parties to rally behind it.”