The not proven verdict and related reforms

Closes 11 Mar 2022

Opened 13 Dec 2021

Overview

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.

Give us your views

Interests

  • Law and Order