On 20 November 2007 this Review was announced. The Scottish Ministers have invited the Scottish Law Commission to consider the law relating to:
(i) "Judicial rulings that can bring a solemn case to an end without the verdict of a jury, and rights of appeal against such" – Essentially, this will look at situations where a trial judge accepts that there is "no case to answer" in particular proceedings. In such cases, the judge must acquit the accused of the offence in respect of which he or she has made such a ruling. The prosecution currently has no right of appeal in such cases and the principle of double jeopardy applies;
(ii) "The principle of double jeopardy, and whether there should be exceptions to it" – The principle of double jeopardy would prevent a person who has been acquitted or convicted of an offence being subsequently charged with the same offence. This part of the review will look at the operation of the double jeopardy rule and whether exemptions to it should be created;
(iii) "Admissibility of evidence of bad character or of previous convictions, and of similar fact evidence"; and
(iv) "The Moorov doctrine" - The Moorov doctrine is a rule of evidence that, in certain circumstances, where a person is charged with a series of offences, evidence in respect of any one of the offences can corroborate the evidence in relation to any other of them.
The Scottish Law Commission intends to divide this work into three separate projects. The first project, relating to appeal rights, should report in Summer 2008; the second, on double jeopardy, should report early in 2009; and finally the report on all the other matters should report in 2010 or 2011.