Page last updated at 23:34 GMT, Sunday, 4 May 2008 00:34 UK

Spouse witness law to be scrapped

Court
The justice minister said partners had "escaped justice"

A law which allows people to refuse to testify against their partners or spouses in court is set to be scrapped.

The Scottish Government has said it will take an early legislative opportunity to repeal the law.

A husband, wife or civil partner can currently only be required to give evidence against their partner if they are the victim of an offence by them.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the law has meant spouses have been able to "escape justice".

He said: "This is not acceptable and has resulted in the past in people marrying their partners prior to trial, for example on a charge of abusing their children, just to avoid having to give evidence against them.

"That is why the Scottish Government will act to close this loophole.

"Changing the law will boost protection for children and prevent couples covering up for each other."

The previous Scottish Executive issued a short consultation paper on the issue in 2006.

The Scottish Government has now decided it wants to repeal Section 264 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 and Section 130 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.


SEE ALSO
Partner witness law under review
26 Jun 06 |  Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific