Calls for review of corroboration
Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell called for a wider review of the law of evidence to seek to improve the application of corroboration, on 25 September 2013.
Corroboration requires two sources of evidence that back each other up.
Ms Mitchell's motion called for the removal of the proposal to abolish corroboration from the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill.
During the debate she called for the law of evidence, including corroboration, to be referred to the Scottish Law Commission or a public inquiry for review.
The Conservative MSP said the "overwhelming view of the judiciary" was that corroboration should not be abolished, and she cited the Senators of the College of
Justice, the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates, as well as the Scottish Police Federation, the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Cross-Party Group on Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse as opponents of the proposal.
In closing she said: "It is totally unacceptable that a decision of this magnitude is crammed in with the justice committee's scrutiny of, the Criminal Justice (Scotland) bill with its miscellaneous provisions."
Lord Carloway renewed his call for the abolition of corroboration before the Justice Committee on 24 September 2013.
He said the rule was a "historical anachronism" and "Scotland is the only country in the civilised world" to retain it.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said "the requirement for corroboration has failed Scotland" adding "it was formulated in a different age before DNA and CCTV".
Mr MacAskill said there was the safeguard of the requirement for a two thirds jury majority in the bill.
He said it was "simply unacceptable for victims to be left to suffer in silence" because the crime took place in private, without corroborating evidence.
Labour MSP Elaine Murray said the Stage 1 scrutiny of the Criminal Justice Bill should be allowed to be completed and that it was inappropriate to decide on the proposal on corroboration until then.