Public Petitions

 

The Committee is currently considering the following public petitions

PE1370: Justice for Megrahi

PE1501: Suspicious death investigations

PE1510 and PE1511: Control Rooms

PE1567: Investigating unascertained deaths

Petition PE1370

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PE1370 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.

The Committee considered this petition at its meeting on 21 April 2015 and agreed to write to the Lord Advocate seeking his views on the petitioners' suggestion of appointing an independent prosecutor to consider the forthcoming Police Scotland report and to keep the petition open.

The Committee received an update from Police Scotland on 20 April 2015.

The Committee received a response from the Lord Advocate on 8 May 2015.

The Committee received a response from Justice for Megrahi to the Lord Advocate's letter on 26 May 2015.

The Committee received an update from Justice for Megrahi on 4 September 2015.

The Committee received an update from Police Scotland on 7 September 2015

The Committee received an update from Justice for Megrahi on 21 Sep 2015

The Committee wrote to the Lord Advocate on 24 September 2015 and received a response on 6 October 2015

The Committee received an update from Justice for Megrahi on 5 Nov 2015

The Committee received the following update from Justice for Megrahi on 17 Dec 2015

The Committee received the following update from Justice for Megrahi on 4 Jan 2016

The Committee wrote to the Lord Advocate on 12 January 2016

Previous consideration

The Committee first considered the petition at its meeting on 8 November 2011 and agreed, by division (For 6, Against 3, Abstentions 0), to keep the petition open pending the outcome of Lord Carloway's review of Scottish criminal procedure and evidence and the Committee's consideration of forthcoming Scottish Government legislation concerning the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. 

The Committee considered the petition at its meeting on 25 September 2012 and agreed to keep the petition open pending a response from the Scottish Government to correspondence from Justice for Megrahi.

The Committee considered the petition at its meeting on 11 December 2012 and agreed to keep the petition open while the petitioners continue to pursue issues with the Scottish Government, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary.

On 2 April 2013, Justice for Megrahi updated the Justice Committee on developments of their allegations of criminality in relation to the investigations of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.  Justice for Megrahi submitted a further report to the Justice Committee on 23 April 2013 after their meeting with Deputy Chief Constable Patrick Shearer.  Links to the two documents are below.

The Committee considered the submissions above at its meeting on 4 June 2013.  At that meeting the Committee agreed to write to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Scottish Government.  Papers from that meeting along with the correspondence arising from it are below.

Justice for Megrahi provided a submission to the Committee on 23 August 2013 summarising a meeting with Police Scotland and raising concerns about the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

On 5 September 2013 the Convener wrote to Justice for Megrahi regarding any possibility of a referal of the conviction of Mr Abdel al-Megrahi to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission for review.  Justice for Megrahi replied on 7 September 2013 and both letters can be found below.

The Committee considered petition PE1370 at its meeting on 24 September 2013 and decided to keep the petition open.  Prior to the meeting, Justice for Megrahi informed the Committee that it had reported its concerns about the conduct of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice to the International Association of Prosecutors. Police Scotland also wrote to the Committee regarding its meeting with Justice for Megrahi on 16 and 19 August.  The Committee papers, the submission from the petitioners and the letter from Police Scotland can be found below.

Following Police Scotland's letter of 24 September, the Convener wrote to Police Scotland on 31 October 2013 asking for an update on the the conflict between its investigation into the allegations of Justice for Megrahi and the on-going investigation into the Lockerbie disaster itself.  Police Scotland replied on 4 November indicating that the conflict between the two investigations still exists and that it will be resolved soon.   Both letters can be found below.

Justice for Megrahi provided a written submission to the Committee on 30 January 2014.

The Committee considered the petition at its meeting on 18 February 2014 and agreed to write to the Chief Constable and the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC).

On 18 February 2014, Police Scotland provided a copy of its letter dated 17 February 2014 to Mr Robert Forrester, Secretary of the Justice for Megrahi Committee, in response to specific questions that he raised in respect of the complaint investigation.

 The SCCRC and Police Scotland replied to the Convener's letters of 19 February 2014 on 20 February 2014.

Police Scotland wrote to the Committee on 28 May, enclosing minutes from a meeting between Police Scotland and a Justice for Megrahi liaison group that took place on 2 April 2014 

The Committee considered the petition at its meeting on 3 June 2014 and agreed to keep the petition open and to keep matters under review.

The Committee considered the petition at its meeting on 4 November 2014 and agreed to monitor the progress being made between Justice for Megrahi and Police Scotland and to consider the petition again at a future meeting.

The Committee considered the petition at its meeting on 3 February 2015 and agreed to note recent correspondence from Justice for Megrahi and latest developments with the case.

Petition PE1501

PE1501 is a petition by Stuart Graham on public inquiries into self-inflicted and accidental deaths following suspicious death investigations.

The Committee considered the petition on 21 April 2015, 29 September 2015, 5 January 2016 and 23 February 2016

During consideration of the petition on 29 September 2015, the Committee agreed to write to the Lord Advocate seeking his views.

The Lord Advocate wrote to the Committee on 25 November 2015

The Petitioner wrote to the Committee on 14 December 2015

During consideration of the Petition on 5 January 2016, the Committee agreed to write to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice seeking his views.

The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs responded to the Committee's letter on 4 February 2016

Previous consideration

The Committee considered the petition at its meeting on 4 November and agreed to write to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to ascertain the level of investigation carried out into the 4,000 deaths classed as self-inflicted in the last five years and to consider the petition as part of its scrutiny of the forthcoming legislation on fatal accident inquiries.

The Committee considered the petition at its meeting on 3 February 2015 and agreed to invite the petitioner to respond to recent correspondence from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service regarding investigations into deaths classified as self-inflicted.

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Petitions PE1510 and PE1511

PE 1510 is a petition by Jody Curtis on behalf of Emergency Service and Non Emergency Service Call Centres calling on the Scottish Parliament to undertake a committee inquiry into the closure of Police, Fire, and Non-Emergency Service Centres north of Dundee.

Petition PE 1511 is a petition by Laura Ross calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the decision made by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to close the Inverness Control Room.

The Committee considered these petitions at its meeting on 21 April and agreed to keep the petitions open and to consider them in the context of the Committee's evidence session on 28 April on fire and rescue service reform, and to write to Police Scotland seeking its comments on the effects of recent police control room closures on call handling. The Committee received the following response from Police Scotland:

The Committee considered PE1511 at its meeting on 29 September and agreed to write to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service seeking information on cover in northern control rooms.

Previous consideration

The Committee considered both petitions at its meeting on 24 June 2014 and agreed to (a) consider the issues raised by both petitions during its forthcoming one-off evidence session with HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland and HM Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service; (b) issue a call for written evidence on the issues raised by both petitions; and (c) inform the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing that it is considering Petition PE1510.

To inform the session with the inspectors, the Committee agreed to invite written submissions on the issues raised by the petitions.

Submissions should be emailed to justice.committee@scottish.parliament.uk by no later than 1 August 2014. Please also note that submissions should be no more than 4 sides of A4, should be in Arial 12 and have simple numbered paragraphs and plain text. You should read the Scottish Parliament’s policy on the treatment of written evidence before sending in your submission http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Helpandguidance/ParliamentPolicy.pdf

The Committee considered the petitions at its meeting on 4 November 2014 and agreed to keep the petitions open to allow relevant issues to be raised in the context of its scrutiny of the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2015-16.

The Committee considered the petitions at its meeting on 3 February 2015 and agreed to keep the petitions open while awaiting the forthcoming Audit Scotland report on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. 

Petition PE1567

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to change the law and procedures in regards to investigating unascertained deaths, suicides and fatal accidents in Scotland.