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PE01562: Perverse Acquittal


Petitioner: Alan McLean


Date Lodged: 27 March 2015

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to consider the need for trial judges have the power to refer jury verdicts to the High Court of Judiciary in the event the judge believes the verdict to be perverse (e.g. Irrational, unsupported, unbelievable).

Petition History:


28 April 2015: The Committee took evidence from Alan McLean and Steve Keicher, campaigner. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Faculty of Advocates, Judges of the High Court of Justiciary, the Law Society of Scotland and the Sheriffs' Association. Link to Official Report 28 April 2015

Below: Alan McLean and Steve Keicher at the meeting on 28 April 2015


23 June 2015: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the petition proposes a fundamental change to the law which could undermine the role of the jury. Link to Official Report 23 June 2015

Written Submissions:

Associated Correspondence

Following the closure of petition PE1562, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice wrote to the Committee on 2 September 2015. The Cabinet Secretary's letter is published below:

• Should Judges have the power to provide additional guidance to jury’s who are undecided?

• Do we have enough control measures within the current Justice system?

• We require equal rights and continuity for victims and offenders within the current Justice system, do you think that the Perverse Acquittal will provide support for victims?


Gill Roxburgh

23:56 on 27 Mar 2015


James Roxburgh

23:54 on 27 Mar 2015

justice for Barry

patrick murphy

16:55 on 27 Mar 2015

Signed x

Leah Robinson

11:45 on 27 Mar 2015

I consider myself to be pretty switched on, no disrespect to those who have studied for years to become lawyers and judges but for normal people like me, having sat through a high court case, it's extremely difficult to understand the gibberish and riddles you talk in, jury's need guidance from the judge

Jolene Connell

11:23 on 27 Mar 2015

Signed x

lisa munoz mccandless

21:55 on 26 Mar 2015

Signed x

Fiona Martin

18:51 on 26 Mar 2015

Singed :)

Jamie Forsyth

16:59 on 26 Mar 2015

Sign x

mike lewis

16:51 on 26 Mar 2015

Have signed your petition.

Jim Jopling

14:09 on 26 Mar 2015

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