Public Petitions

PE1633: Private Criminal Prosecution in Scotland

PE1370: Justice for Megrahi

Consideration of these petitions by Session 4 Justice Committee can be found here:

Petitions considered and closed by the Session 5 Justice Committee can be found here:


The Committee is currently considering the following public petitions

Petition PE1633

PE1633 is a petition by Bill Alexander calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to change the law to give the people of Scotland the same legal rights as the rest of the UK by removing the requirement that the Lord Advocate must first give permission before a private criminal prosecution can be commenced in Scotland.

This petition was referred to the Justice Committee on 9 November 2017. The Justice Committee first considered the petition at its meeting on 19 December 2017.

Prior to the Committee's consideration of the petition at its meeting on 27 March 2018, the following written submissions were received:

The Committee considered the petition on 27 March 2018 and agreed to keep it open and write to the Scottish Government seeking its response to comments on the petition and to seek advice on the Scottish Parliament's legal competence in relation to the petition.

Petition PE1370

PE1370 is a petition by Dr Jim Swire, Professor Robert Black QC, Mr Robert Forrester, Father Patrick Keegans and Mr Iain McKie on behalf of Justice for Megrahi on opening an independent inquiry into the 2001 Kamp van Zeist conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988.

At its meetings on 27 September 2016, 17 January 2017, 2 May 2017 , 5 September 2017 and 19 December 2017 the Committee agreed to keep the petition open pending the completion of Operation Sandwood.

Prior to its meeting on 27 March 2018, the Committee received the following written submission from the petitioners:

At its meeting on 27 March 2018, the Committee decided to keep the petition open, and write to Police Scotland and the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission requesting information on issues raised during discussion of the petition; and ask the Scottish Parliament Information Centre to provide a briefing on the petition.

The following responses were received:


The Committee next intends to consider petitions in June 2018.

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