(Scotland) The defendant appealed against his conviction saying that the prosecution had introduced at trial a statement of a witness who had died before the trial, but they had failed to disclose that he had several convictions and outstanding charges. He said this raised a devolution issue in that his human right to a fair trial had been infringed. The appeal court had said that an outstanding charge could not be relevant. At the trial the defence had been able to show that the witness had lied as to several matters, but the court said other elements could still be relied on.
Held: The fact that someone faced criminal charges could affect the ways others chose to deal with him in many ways. Though a devolution issue was raised, the court was not persuaded that the disclosure of the outstanding charges would have raisied the possibility of a changed verdict.
Lord Hope said: ‘Included within the general description of disclosable material are two classes of material, namely police statements of any witnesses on the Crown list and the previous convictions and outstanding charges relating to those witnesses.’
Lord Hope, Deputy President, Lord Rodger, Lord Walker, Lord Brown, Lord Kerr
 UKSC 6, UKSC 2009/0129, Times 17-Feb-2009,  HRLR 16, 2010 SCL 452, 2010 SLT 261
Bailii, SC, SC Summ, Bailii Summary
Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 259(5)
Cited – Her Majesty’s Advocate v Murtagh (the High Court of Justiciary Scotland) PC 3-Aug-2009
All police statements as a class must be disclosed to the accused. . .
Cited – McDonald v Her Majesty’s Advocate PC 16-Oct-2008
(The High Court of Justiciary Scotland) The defendant sought to appeal against his convictions for murder and and assault. The HCJ in Scotland had refused to receive a devolution minute.
Held: The refusal was itself sufficient to give the . .
Cited – Holland v Her Majesty’s Advocate (Devolution) PC 11-May-2005
The defendant appealed his convictions for robbery. He had been subject to a dock identification, and he complained that the prosecution had failed in its duties of disclosure.
Held: The combination of several failings meant that the defendant . .
Cited – McInnes v Her Majesty’s Advocate SC 10-Feb-2010
The defendant complained that the prosecution had not disclosed the fact that a prosecution witness had convictions, and that had it been disclosed it would have undermined the prosecution. Other statements taken were not disclosed as had later . .
Cited – Fraser v Her Majesty’s Advocate SC 25-May-2011
The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder, saying that the prosecution had failed to disclose certain matters.
Held: The appeal succeeded, the conviction was quashed and the case remitted to the Scottish courts to consider . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 22 February 2021; Ref: scu.396702