In an exclusive interview, we spoke to Lady Dorrian about the recent review and report Improving the Management of Sexual Offence Cases. The interview is available on our YouTube channel and the full interview is available in CPD qualifying format in our newly launched Scottish Criminal Law Channel. In the interview, Lady Dorrian discusses:
1. Why the Review was set up, who was involved and what it was tasked to achieve
2. The six main areas of the review including the establishment of a brand new national specialist court to deal with serious sexual offences.
3. The potential pilot of jury-less serious sexual offence trials and the rights of the accused.
4. The presumed use of pre-recorded evidence with practical measures around early recording of evidence from the complainer, including providing clarity around “the questioning on behalf of the accused, which would be recorded at the earliest possible opportunity”.
5. Measures to improve the current experience of complainers with a particular focus on improved communication.
6. Proposed steps to enhance jury involvement and plans for more plain language to guide juries on their route to a verdict, including reference to a pilot programme to communicate information to juries regarding certain rape myths and stereotypes.
7. What happens next with the Review report and the recommendations made.