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Update to written direction on mutual corroboration
Dec 14, 2022
The Jury Manual Committee has modified the written direction on mutual corroboration. In light of their own and wider judicial experience, the committee concluded that this direction should not only cover conventional mutual corroboration, ie Moorov, but also the analogous form of mutual corroboration per HM Advocate v Taylor 2019 JC 71 and Rysamanowski v HM Advocate 2020 JC 84 (where evidence of one complainer about one crime can be corroborated by evidence from a separate source about another crime against the same complainer).
The experience of those on the committee is that it is not always clear at the outset which type, or whether both types, of corroboration will arise. They consider that the new introductory direction is so skeletal and provisional that no harm will be done however the evidence may turn out.
The new direction provides as follows:
“Mutual corroboration etc
Someone against whom a crime is said to have been committed is known as a complainer.
In some cases, in certain circumstances, evidence of one complainer about one charge can be corroborated by the evidence of another complainer about another charge. This is known as mutual corroboration.
There can also be cases where, in certain circumstances, evidence of one complainer about one crime can be corroborated by evidence from a separate source about another crime against the same complainer.
Should these issues arise, I will give you full directions at the end of the trial on how you deal with corroboration in this case.”
The updated Written Directions can now be found in the “Written Directions for Jurors in Scottish Courts” chapter of the Jury Manual.
Judges and clerks have been asked to use the latest version of the Written Directions in trials which ballot from Monday 19 December onwards.