The not proven verdict and related reforms

Closed 11 Mar 2022

Opened 13 Dec 2021

Results updated 12 Jul 2022

An independent analysis of the responses to the consultation is available at The not proven verdict and related reforms: Consultation Analysis - (

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation seeks views on the three verdict system in Scottish criminal trials and, if the not proven verdict were to be abolished, whether any accompanying reforms would be necessary to other aspects of the Scottish criminal justice system including jury size, majority required for verdict and the corroboration rule.

The views gathered will inform what, if any, reforms will be taken forward.

Read the consultation paper 

Why your views matter

After publication of the Scottish Jury Research in October 2019, the Scottish Government held engagement events involving stakeholders across the country from a range of sectors to hear their views on the implications of the jury research findings, if these reflected their own experiences of the criminal justice system and whether they were in favour of potential criminal justice reforms.

The discussions highlighted the complexity of the issues and the lack of agreement about next steps. This consultation will provide an opportunity for those interested to set out their detailed views on these matters and for the views of a wider range of people to be considered, as well as allowing us to understand the considered view of various key organisations.

Ministers recognise the strong case that can be made for the abolition of the not proven verdict but also understand that there are many who have principled and informed objections to the abolition of the not proven verdict or highlight the complex impact that moving to two verdicts could have on the wider Scottish criminal justice system. It is hoped the consultation will capture the views of a broad range of stakeholders including legal professionals, the third sector and those with lived experience of the system to inform any potential next steps for the three verdict system and any associated reforms that may be required.

What happens next

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other relevant evidence. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so and an analysis report will also be made available. A final report will also be published to report on what decisions have been made taking account of the views expressed in the consultation.


  • Law and Order