SB 12-08 Criminal Cases (Punishment and Review) (Scotland) Bill: Custodial Sentences

The Scottish Government introduced the Criminal Cases (Punishment and Review) (Scotland) Bill in the Parliament on 30 November 2011. It contains provisions in relation to two distinct issues:

  • Part 1 of the Bill seeks to amend some of the statutory rules used by courts when calculating the “punishment part” of a life sentence (ie the period a life sentence prisoner must serve in custody before being eligible to apply for release on parole). The Scottish Government‟s proposals in this area are in response to the decision of the High Court of Justiciary in the case of Petch & Foye v HM Advocate (2011)
  • Part 2 of the Bill seeks to establish a framework under which the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission may disclose information about cases it has referred to the High Court of Justiciary where the relevant appeal has subsequently been abandoned. The Scottish Government‟s proposals in this area were prompted by the case of Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, who was convicted of murder following the Lockerbie bombing

This briefing considers the provisions in Part 1 of the Bill.

A separate SPICe briefing, dealing with the provisions in Part 2, will be published shortly.

Read SPICe Briefing:

Published: 25 January 2012

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