Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 11:53 UK

Justice Committee

MSPs on the Justice Committee unanimously agreed to back all three amendments to the Criminal Cases Bill brought forward by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill on 15 May 2012.

The bill is in two parts, the first being to amend the rules about the punishment part of non-mandatory life sentences imposed in criminal cases.

The second part intends to amend the rules about the disclosure of information obtained by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC).

Amendment one was about the disclosure of information by the SCCRC.

The justice secretary explained that the measure did not effect reserved legislation or effect any obligations under, for example, the Official Secrets Acts.

Amendments two and three were minor technical amendments to do with not wishing to impose unneccesary costs on the commission where there would be no public interest in doing so and ensuring international obligations were respected.

The general principles of the bill were backed by MSPs on the chamber at it's first stage of parliamentary scrutiny on 19 April 2012.

Speaking in April Mr MacAskill said the Bill was intended to ensure that the public could have confidence that Scotland has a justice system that was "fair, transparent and effective".

The committee then went on to discuss some subordinate legislation on bankruptcy fees, mainly that the fee had doubled from £100 to £200.

MSPs had some questions about this fee, namely its purpose and why it had doubled when it hit people with low income and low assets.

They decided to invite Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing to give evidence this and also discussed whether to lodge a motion to annul the fee increase.

Justice Committee membership


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