Possibility of Megrahi appeal
I am one of the Pan Am 103 relatives. A possibility has occurred to me on the al-Megrahi case.
In law, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has wide powers.
I see nothing in the legislation barring the SCCRC from referring a case to the High Court for a second time.
It could be that with or without any significant work, they might decide, after considering the circumstances in which the appeal was abandoned and the nature of their previous grounds for referral, that the case currently meets their criteria.
The criteria are that:
a) there is the possibility of a miscarriage of justice, and
b) it would be in the interests of justice for the Court to hear the case.
If the Commission does not refer the case in the short term, it could do so at a later date.
The Commission may refer a case after the death of the convict.
It may refer whether or not an application has been made by or on behalf of the convict.
No prisoner before Mr al-Megrahi has abandoned an appeal
after referral by the Commission.
That fact may be related to this:
Most people who appeal against their conviction via the Commission, as he did, are found by the Court to have suffered a miscarriage of justice.
1. Some short extracts from the legislation are:
The Commission may at any time, and whether or not an appeal has previously been heard refer the whole case to the High Court
In considering whether to make a reference the Commission shall have regard to any other matters which appear to the Commission to be relevant.
The Commission may take any steps which they consider appropriate for assisting them in the exercise of any of their functions.
Longer passages are in the Appendix below.
2. Summary statistics are on the Commissions website at http://www.sccrc.org.uk/casestatistics.aspx .
A report by university researchers with further statistical analysis is at http://www.sccrc.org.uk/ViewFile.aspx?id=393 .
The SCCRC states, The Commission was established by Section
194A of the Criminal Procedure (
( http://www.sccrc.org.uk/legislation.aspx )
(4) person includes a person who is deceased.
(1) A reference may be made whether or not an application has been made by or on behalf of the person to whom it relates.
(2) In considering whether to make a reference the Commission shall have regard to
(a) any application or representations made to the Commission by or on behalf of the person to whom it relates;
(b) any other representations made to the Commission in relation to it: and
(c) any other matters which appear to the Commission to be
(5) In every case in which (a) an application has been made but (b) the Commission decide not to make a reference they shall give a statement of the reasons for their decision to the person who made the application. .
The Commission may take any steps which they consider appropriate for assisting them in the exercise of any of their functions and may, in particular
(a) themselves undertake inquiries and obtain statements, opinions or reports; or
(b) request the Lord Advocate or any other person to undertake such inquiries or obtain such statements, opinions and reports. .
(1) Where the Commission believe that a person or a public body has possession or control of a document or other material which may assist them in the exercise of any of their functions, they may apply to the High Court for an order requiring that person or body
(a) to produce the document or other material to the Commission or to give the Commission access to it .
This text published on mattberkley.com on