Monday, April 24, 2006

Great Idea Charles

Charles Clarke announced last week that he wanted to reform the way in which miscarriages of justice were compensated. Slipped in to this announcement was a nugget of information that Charles Clarke was also planning a massive reform of the Court of Appeal by introducing a new verdict of 'not proven'. Charles Clarke's idea seemed to be that if a person had been convicted of a crime, and that had appealed to the Court of Appeal but had been given a 'not proven' as the result of the appeal he would not have to pay out so much money for miscarriages of justice.

I may have misunderstood Charles Clarke's plans as he has yet to publish how he intends to imnplement this 'not proven' verdict. The UK media have reported that he wants to introduce the 'not proven' verdict so I am assuming that they are probably reporting something similar to the truth that has escaped from the Home Office.

Hazel Keirle, Head of Case Research of the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation, expressed her views on this announcement, "Intersting that Charles Clarke wants to intorduce a 'not proven' verdict in the English COA (where the Court never pronounces a verdict in any event), when in the Scottish High Court, they can't use the 'not proven' at all, that particular verdict being a jury verdict only. What is far more worrying is his obvious want to interfere in the making and development of the law whilst demonstrating a total lack of knowledge of how our Appellate system works at all. Miscarriages of justice are a fact of life - not a figment of imagination. Whatever their cause, those affected by it have a right to redress through due process and any attempt to curtail or delete that right, will eventually end up in Strasbourg."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

has the 'not proven' verdict come into effect yet in magistrates courts?