"Politics is all about people. As a Central Scotland MSP it is both a pleasure and a privilege to meet and become involved with a hugely diverse number of people and organisations"

Margaret Mitchell
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Archive for September 2013


Sep. 26th 2013

During Scottish Conservative business at the parliament yesterday, Margaret led a debate on the proposed abolition of corroboration warning that removing corroboration from Scots law would be huge mistake.

The proposal is one of a number of reforms contained in the Scottish Government’s Criminal Justice Bill. However, the proposal is widely opposed by a number of organisations, including the Scottish Police Federation, the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland, who fear that the removal of corroboration would result in more people being convicted of a crime on the basis of a sole witness or single piece of evidence.

Yesterday’s debate also emphasised that the proposal to abolish corroboration cannot be looked at in isolation and that the Scottish Government’s proposed safeguards consultation was inadequate.

It was also suggested that the government look at improving and modernising the application of corroboration by carrying out a wider review of the law of evidence in Scotland, including the interaction between corroboration and other rules of evidence

Commenting on the debate, Margaret said:

“Corroboration, in practice, is at the very heart of the Scottish criminal justice system.

“It is very much in general use on a daily basis, where it provides a safeguard against miscarriages of justice and all the misery that results from this for complainers and accused alike.

“The Scottish Government has attempted to portray opposition to this as the vested interests of the legal profession against the rights of victims.

“This is a gross distortion of the issues at stake.

“A significant number of organisations are opposed to this, and their comments represent a clear indication of the strength of feeling against the abolition of corroboration.

“It is totally unacceptable that a decision of this magnitude is crammed in with the Justice Committee’s scrutiny of the Criminal Justice Bill.”

The debate was covered by the BBC’s Democracy Live website and you can watch a video of the debate here:

The Official Report of the debate can also be found on the Scottish Parliament website:

?Jack Vettriano: A Retrospective

Sep. 25th 2013

That the Parliament congratulates Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on its exhibition, Jack Vettriano: A Retrospective, which marks 20 years of Vettriano’s career and runs from 21 September 2013 to 23 February 2014; understands that this is the first major Vettriano retrospective and is a comprehensive exhibition that includes 100 of his paintings, including key works such as Dance Me to the End of Love and The Singing Butler; notes that it also includes Homage à Tuiga, which is a series of 10 paintings inspired by a yacht that was built on the Clyde in 1909 by William Fife, whom it understands was a world-famous yacht builder; understands that the paintings in the exhibition are on loan from private collections and that a number are going on public display for the first time in 20 years; believes that it includes paintings that Vettriano has not seen himself for many years; understands that that the Fife-born artist’s works are internationally popular and that he has had sell-out solo exhibitions in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and New York; considers that this exhibition provides Vettriano with long overdue recognition, and hopes that this retrospective will introduce new audiences to his paintings.

Posted by Kate | in Latest news, Motions, Parliament

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