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News from COPFS

Crossing boundaries in reform of criminal law

COPFS is to host the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law conference in Edinburgh from 21-25 June 2015.

The Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC, will chair the Society’s 28th international conference, bringing together those from criminal justice organisations and academics from around the world.

Crown rules that a Fatal Accident Inquiry should be held into the Glasgow bin lorry incident

Crown Counsel have decided that a Fatal Accident Inquiry should be held into the causes of this tragedy to ensure that there can be a full public hearing of the facts of the case.

Following the road traffic incident involving a bin lorry in Glasgow City Centre on December 22nd 2014 a Police Scotland inquiry, under the direction of the Crown Office, began immediately into the cause of the crash in which six people died and ten were injured.

And the winner is… Proud in COPFS

"Proud in COPFS" has been recognised by Stonewall Scotland as its top Scottish Network Group 2015.

The award recognises the “huge success” that the group has had in supporting LGBT colleagues and raising awareness of LGBT equality issues. And it follows the recent announcement that COPFS is 8th in Stonewall’s top UK employers, and the top Scottish public sector employer.

A three-year plan to secure justice for the people of Scotland

The COPFS Strategic Plan 2015-2018 is published today.

The Plan describes what we aim to deliver over the three-year period and the underlying priorities. These are set against the backdrop of legal reforms, both past and planned, changes in the patterns of criminal behaviour and developments in our business practices.

Each element of this Strategic Plan is designed to support our purpose to secure justice for the people of Scotland.


COPFS recognised as a top ten Stonewall employer

COPFS is very proud to be in Stonewall’s top ten UK workplaces - we are now ranked 8 out of the 397 workplaces who applied to the LGB charity.

Crown Agent Catherine Dyer and COPFS Equality Champion Ruth McQuaid talk about what this means for Scotland’s Prosecution Service:



Aberdeen gamekeeper jailed for killing Goshawk

Gamekeeper Mutch was handed a custodial sentence today after being caught trapping and killing a rare wild bird with the use of video cameras.

George Mutch was sentenced to four months imprisonment on each of the four charges, one offence under Section 5(1)(b) and three offences under Section 1(1)(a) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The sentences will run concurrently.

Scotland's Law Officers marked the anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing

On 21 December Scotland's Law Officers marked the 26th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing by showing support for the relatives of those who died. The Lord Advocate urged the relatives not to give up hope that others will eventually be brought to justice for the atrocity in which 270 people lost their lives. The Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC sent a message of remembrance on the anniversary of the atrocity.


Solicitor General welcomes Bill for new human trafficking law

The Scottish Government has today introduced the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill which will introduce a specific law to combat human trafficking and exploitation for the very first time in Scotland.

The Bill will clarify and strengthen criminal law by introducing a new single human trafficking offence and increasing the maximum penalty for offenders to life imprisonment.

US Senate report to be part of Scottish rendition flight investigation

The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC has today instructed Police Scotland to consider the U.S. Senate report on CIA interrogation as part of the ongoing police investigation into rendition flights.

Clutha Helicopter Crash: Information

A Police Scotland helicopter crashed onto the busy Clutha bar in Glasgow on 29 November 2013, killing 10 people.

Immediately following the incident meetings were held between the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC  and the Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC and the Chief Inspector and Deputy Chief Inspector of Air Accidents at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to underline the need for them to carry out a through and speedy investigation in close liaison with the Crown.   

An investigation by Police Scotland under the direction of the Crown into the cause of the crash is underway. However, the AAIB inquiry is responsible for the safety part of the investigation to establish the cause of the crash and we must have this information before we can complete our investigation.