HL Deb 16 February 1983 vol 439 c332WA
Lord McCluskey

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, having regard to the statement in Memorandum No. 46 of the Scottish Law Commission (Law of Evidence) that the Memorandum does not represent "the final views" of the commission they have sought, or obtained, the views of the commission as to whether or not the provisions of Clause 53 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill are—as stated by the Lord Advocate in a letter published in Scolag in January 1983—"in line with" the commission's "proposals"; and where the current views of the Scottish Law Commission on this topic may be ascertained, studied and assessed.

Lord Mackay of Clashfern

When it was originally proposed that the Criminal Evidence Act 1965, which extends to Scotland, should be replaced by new provisions, the Scottish Law Commission were consulted informally about the application of these new provisions to Scotland. Since then my honourable and learned friend the Solicitor-General and I have had two meetings with the commission's representatives to enable further discussion to take place of the provisions in the Bill which extend to Scotland. I am aware of the current views of the commission about Clause 53 of the Bill, and these will be kept in mind in giving further consideration to Clause 53. The Government have always accepted that what the commission said in its Consultative Memorandum does not represent the final views of the commission and that the provisions in the Bill are subject to review when the commission's Report on the Law of Evidence is published in due course.

The views of the Scottish Law Commission on the question of the admissibility in criminal proceedings of evidence in the form of documentary records will be available when their Report on the Law of Evidence is published.