Corroboration in Scots law
The importance of corroboration is a unique feature of Scots criminal law
Scots criminal law
Scots Criminal Law governs the rules of criminal law in Scotland. Scottish criminal law relies far more heavily on common law than in England and Wales...

. Scotland is the only jurisdiction in Europe that requires corroboration of evidence in criminal trials. A cornerstone of Scots law, the requirement for corroborating evidence
Corroborating evidence
Corroborating evidence is evidence that tends to support a proposition that is already supported by some evidence, therefore confirming the proposition. For example, W, a witness, testifies that she saw X drive his automobile into a green car...

 means at least two different and independent sources of evidence are required in support of each crucial fact before a defendant can be convicted of a crime. This means, for example, that an admission of guilt
Admission (law)
An admission in the law of evidence is a prior statement by an adverse party which can be admitted into evidence over a hearsay objection. In general, admissions are admissible in criminal and civil cases.At common law, admissions were admissible...

 by the accused is insufficient evidence to convict in Scotland, because that evidence needs to be corroborated by another source.

However, testimony from some experts, such as coroner
A coroner is a government official who* Investigates human deaths* Determines cause of death* Issues death certificates* Maintains death records* Responds to deaths in mass disasters* Identifies unknown dead* Other functions depending on local laws...

s or doctors, is accepted by courts on the basis of the expert's report alone, therefore requiring no corroboration.

Following the Cadder ruling in 2010, Lord Carloway was appointed to lead a review of of the corroboration rule. Lord Carloway announced on November 17, 2011 that the corroboration rule will be brought to an end as the criminal law should be "re-cast" for modern society.

Field of study

As a legal system founded on civil law principals, evidence in Scots law is normally studied as a branch of procedural law
Procedural law
Procedural law or adjective law comprises the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in civil lawsuit, criminal or administrative proceedings. The rules are designed to ensure a fair and consistent application of due process or fundamental justice to all cases that come before...


External links

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