HC Deb 15 November 1968 vol 773 c815

Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

1.45 p.m.

Mr. Stodart

I want to ask a question. Actions taken by a fishery officer may lead to an action in court and charges laid for offences under Clauses 5, 6, 7 and 10. It is not very long since there was an action of this kind in the sheriff court at Lerwick. That action failed because of the lack of corroborative evidence. My question—and I think it is of some substance—is: are fishery officers being made aware, because, if not, I think it is important that they should be, of the need to have evidence corroborated if any action they are taking is likely to end in a Scottish court, that being the nearest convenient court to the scene of the offence committed?

In England, as I understand, the need for corroboration is certainly not as important as it is in the Scottish courts. It would, therefore, seem to me that in the light of the Lerwick incident fishery officers must be made fully aware of the need to get corroboration in any action they take.

Mr. Buchan

The point is well taken. The law on corroboration is different as between Scotland and England. I know the case to which the hon. Gentleman refers. I will certainly take up his point. It may be that the case itself may have had an educative effect in illustrating the need to instruct non-Scottish officers in Scotland as to their duties, but I will look into this and consider whether we are doing everything possible to give full advice and instruction on this matter.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 9 to 11 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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