HC Deb 28 October 1985 vol 84 cc707-8

3. Section 193B of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 shall not affect the punishment for an offence committed before the coming into force of section 39 of this Act.

4. The amendments to section 407(1A) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 effected by section 40 of this Act have no effect in relation to fines imposed in respect of offences committed before the coming into force of section 40 of this Act."

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

Clauses 36 and 38 change the rules on admissibility of evidence in court proceedings for sexual offences and vehicle licensing offences, while clauses 39 and 40 change the penalties which can be imposed for an offence in certain circumstances. Clearly it would be unacceptable for the rules of evidence to be changed during the course of a trial.

Equally it would be unjust, and contrary to article 7 of the European Convention on Human rights, if the penalty for an offence could be retrospectively increased or an additional penalty imposed. The new schedule of transitional provisions therefore provides that clause 36 shall not apply to trials, and clause 38 shall not apply to proceedings, commenced before they come into force. Similarly, clauses 39 and 40 cannot change penalties for offences committed before they came into force. The new schedule is governed by clause 60, and as a consequential to the new schedule the existing transitional provision in clause 40(2) is deleted.

Question put and agreed to.

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