Victims Law

Our Victims Law will put victims at the heart of Scotland’s justice system.

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Our Victims Law would remove the Not Proven verdict from Scots law. The verdict is used disproportionately in sexual offence cases, especially in cases of rape or attempted rape. 

Our Victims Law would bring in Michelle’s Law. Michelle’s Law is a victims’ rights initiative launched by the family of a murder victim which would make victims’ voices heard during parole and temporary release hearings and would prevent killers from returning to the community they traumatised. 

Our Victims Law would introduce Suzanne’s Law. Suzanne’s Law, named after a murder victim, would allow authorities to prevent a killer’s release if they refused to reveal where they had buried their victim’s body. The SNP failed to deliver on their promises in these areas. 

Our Victims Law would expand victim statements. Currently, not all victims are allowed to write a victim statement. We would expand the criteria to allow all victims to make a victim statement before the court. 

Our Victims Law would give victims notice of decisions about their case. The SNP have failed to ensure all victims are automatically notified of a decision not to prosecute their case. This means victims can miss out on opportunities to have their case reviewed through the Victims’ Right to Review scheme. Our Victims Law would enshrine the right of all victims to be notified of a decision not to prosecute their case.

Our Victims Law would boost uptake of victims’ information schemes. Only a quarter of victims are signed up to the SNP’s information scheme for victims and it has been criticised for being insensitive towards victims’ needs and doesn’t give them enough warning about their offender’s release. Our Victims Law would reform the scheme to boost take-up and provide victims with more information about their case in a sensitive manner.

Our Victims Law would make Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAI) faster. FAIs often take far too long to be completed and the requirements for mandatory FAIs to take place are too strict. Our Victims Law would implement a statutory timescale to speed up the process and expand the situations where mandatory FAIs take place.

We would fix the flaws in the SNP’s soft-touch justice system. The SNP consistently prioritise the criminal over the victim within the justice system – the Scottish Conservatives’ Victims Law would turn the tide in favour of victims. 

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