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UK Supreme Court

The Scottish Government has appointed a group of independent legal specialists to examine the role of the Supreme Court in Scottish criminal cases.

The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over Scottish criminal cases, but is the highest UK appeal court in respect of human rights issues. Two recent controversial cases – including the successful appeal by Nat Fraser – have highlighted an area of overlap, where human rights issues arise in criminal cases, and the Scottish Government has raised this as an area of concern.

The expert group’s remit will be to examine the emerging implications of the 1998 Scotland Act, the 1998 Human Rights Act and the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 on the current roles of the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh and the UK Supreme Court in London, and advise on possible options for reform.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“These experts in Scots law and the constitution will conduct a fundamental review of the UK Supreme Court’s role in Scottish criminal cases before presenting an interim report in time for a Scottish Parliament debate before the summer recess. Their final report will be published later this year, and will put forward options for reform in time for those proposals to be incorporated into the Scotland Bill.”