Donald Findlay accuses SNP of undermining Scottish legal system

Donald Findlay accuses SNP of undermining Scottish legal system

Donald Findlay KC

Donald Findlay KC has accused the Scottish government of undermining the justice system for mere “vote-gathering”.

His comments come in response to proposals from Scottish ministers to pilot juryless trials for rape cases and to eliminate the ‘not proven’ verdict.

In an interview with the Sunday Mail marking his 35th year as a silk, Mr Findlay voiced his opposition to the planned reforms, criticising the SNP’s attempts to mirror English law. “I don’t understand why a nationalist government would want to copy the English system and dismantle much that is good about the Scottish system,” he said, adding that jurisdictions globally “envy our approach”.

He also expressed disdain towards the proposal to remove juries. “I find the proposal on juries deeply insulting. The jury is the last truly democratic body there is – 15 people chosen at random with no special qualifications. Now the Scottish government say they don’t have the intelligence to sit on a jury trial or they are too stupid. It is a ridiculous suggestion.”

He further argued against the change to the three-verdict system: “I am completely opposed to the change to the three-verdict system.

“There is no good reason to change a system that has served Scotland well and is the envy of the world. The proposals have not one single redeeming feature. It is simply vote-gathering.”

Mr Findlay, who has defended over 700 murder suspects, including serial killer Peter Tobin, and who once declared he would represent Saddam Hussein, because everyone deserves a fair trial, suggested the main issue plaguing the Scottish courts was financial. He said defence lawyers were switching sides to become prosecutors for improved living standards.

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