Ahead of Thursday's (27 Feb) parliamentary debate on Stage One of the Criminal Justice Bill, Scottish Green MSPs are calling on ministers to rethink their proposal to remove the requirement for corroboration from Scots law.

Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone are due to support an opposition amendment in the debate that calls for the removal of abolition of corroboration from the Bill.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

"We have real concerns about the removal of corroboration. There is a problem with low levels of reporting and conviction for serious offences such as rape but the Government is proposing the wholesale removal of the corroboration rule in all cases.

"I have met with the Justice Secretary to discuss the issue but remain of the view that ministers need to rethink their proposal while the Bill is at this early stage. Even Mr MacAskill accepts that a new system of safeguards will be needed, but he doesn’t yet know what the detail will be.

“It can’t be right to approve this dramatic change to the whole justice system on the promise that something else will be developed to replace it later.

"The Scottish Government is asking us to put the cart before the horse. It’s not a responsible way to legislate."