(572) SEXUAL OFFENCES REVIEW PUBLISHED
The Crown Office published a review of the law on sexual offences, in particular relating to rape, on 14 June 2006. The fifty recommendations in the report include the following:
The development of comprehensive training and guidance for prosecutors, and the introduction of a process of certification for legal staff working in this difficult area. Changes to prosecution practice and policy, including a presumption in favour of prosecution where there is sufficient credible and reliable evidence to prosecute. Only where there are insurmountable weaknesses in the case, which mean that there is no reasonable prospect of conviction, should a decision be made to take no proceedings.Strengthening communication with victims Communication between the police and prosecutors at the earliest stage is to be strengthened to allow the Procurator Fiscal to provide advice and direction and to influence evidence-gathering. Until the law is reconsidered by this Parliament, the charge of sodomy involving male or transgender victims and children should always be prosecuted in the High Court.For full details, see http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2006/06/14161525.