Tuesday, 26 October 2010
SCOTTISH POLICEMEN MUST ALLOW YOU TO SEE A SOLICITOR - SHOCK JUDGMENT FROM SUPREME COURT
It was 1984 when English criminals first obtained a statutory right to consult a solicitor in Police custody (in 1964 they gained a limited right to make a telephone call to a solicitor). For the first 6 hours of police questioning, Scots criminals have had to wait until today, some 16 years later.
I particularly enjoyed this passage from the judgments today which reveal a typically phlegmatic proposition from the Scots law committee (which thought it was OK that you could not have access to a solicitor for the first 6 hours and indeed recommended keeping the system) that they thought (on what evidence?) that the Scottish public considered unlawful police practices to be fair:
para 2.03, the Thomson Committee elegantly referred to police
practices which were accepted by the public, including criminals, as fair “although
they may be technically illegal or at least of doubtful legality.”
The Supreme Court judgment is here.