One of the guarantees under article 6 of the ECHR – which led to rather more litigation than Scots lawyers expected prior to the Scotland Act 1998 – is the right to trial within a reasonable time. That right runs, according to the
In Burns, the appellant was initially interviewed by police officers in
What is interesting is that the court does not seem prepared to endorse the concession which has been previously made by the Crown as to the starting point for the article 6(1) guarantee. Counsel for the appellant submitted that “[h]ad what was said to the appellant by Metropolitan Police officers in February 2003 been said to him by officers of Strathclyde Police at that time, it was clear that he would then have received official notification for the purposes of the Convention” (see para 6). But the Lord Justice-General avoids endorsing this claim, saying only (at para 10):
“it has been accepted both in
It would be dangerous to read too much into what is at most, an obiter omission (if such a thing exists) – but the point may arise again before long.