Series 3 Episode 1 – Former St Andrews student at forefront of campaign to scrap Scotland’s controversial Not Proven verdict

Lauren Sykes
Wednesday 26 April 2023

‘Miss M’ tells Scotland’s Future Series why rape survivors view ‘third’ verdict as worse than a ‘Not Guilty’ result

Over the course of the last year, the University’s Scotland’s Future Series podcasts have featured discussions on a range of issues from the impact of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the impact of Islamic Republic rule on the rights and freedoms of the Iranian people, to the difficulties being faced by staff, students and the wider St Andrews community as a result of the cost-of-living and energy crisis.

Projects funded by the Scotland’s Future Series panel are also tackling a range of issues pertinent to Scotland’s role in the world and, by getting involved, academics, professional staff and students are being given the chance to shape developments and influence decision making.

The series was designed with the specific aim of encouraging and facilitating a wide range of debate and discussion even when some of the subjects may prove difficult or controversial.

There are few topics more controversial than Scotland’s Not Proven verdict – or as the podcast reminds us, “that bastard verdict” – in the view of Sir Walter Scott.

Former St Andrews student ‘Miss M’ has been at the forefront of leading the campaign, calling on the Scottish Government to end the use of the ‘third verdict’ in Scots law, an option she and many others with experience of the Scottish Courts system, including those in the judiciary, believe is resulting in guilty men walking free.

In this exclusive interview for Scotland’s Future Series, Miss M and Sandy Brindley, Chief Executive of Rape Crisis Scotland, talk to Mike Gettinby, the University’s Deputy Legal Officer, about the work that has gone into the campaign, and the wider impact scrapping the verdict would have on rape survivors and their ability to achieve closure.

Listen to the podcast.

Watch the video.