Law seminar to discuss admissibility of video evidence

After several controversial decisions by the Crown Office last year, where prosecutions for alleged raptor persecution were dropped due to the perceived inadmissibility of video evidence (e.g. hen harrier shooting on Cabrach Estate here; setting of illegal pole trap on Brewlands Estate here), there followed a series of blogs written by law academics at Aberdeen University (see here and here) that provided a welcome explanation about the legal complexities behind these decisions.

Aberdeen University’s School of Law is now hosting a free public seminar on this issue, with contributions from Dr Phil Glover (a lecturer at the School of Law and an expert in the law of evidence, investigatory powers and related human rights matters), Malcolm Combe (senior lecturer and an expert in property law), Ian Thomson (Head of Investigations at RSPB Scotland) and Tim Baynes (Director of Scottish Land & Estate’s Moorland Group and the Gift of Grouse). After the presentations audience members will be invited to participate in an open discussion.

DATE: 15 June 2018

TIME: 3.15pm – 5pm

VENUE: The Sir Duncan Rice Library, Aberdeen

This is a free event but spaces are limited so booking is essential. Further information & a link to the online booking system is available HERE.



15 Responses to “Law seminar to discuss admissibility of video evidence”

  1. 1 Robert Alexander
    May 29, 2018 at 8:18 am

    I was convicted on covert CCTV evidence that showed no evidence of criminality whatsoever, my solicitor Ryan Sloane made a minute of agreement with the DPF accepting the video evidence as evidence of a criminal act.
    I have made a complaint to the Law Society but with the speed they move at I could be dead and buried before the whitewash is used.

  2. 3 Mike Whitehouse
    May 29, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Will RPUK be attending, I hope so.

  3. 4 Gordon Milward
    May 29, 2018 at 10:29 am

    And the RSPB? And the ACPO Lead’s Staff Officer?

  4. 5 dave angel
    May 29, 2018 at 11:15 am

    It would be useful if this could be taped and you tubed (preferably with the participants’ permission) or a transcript provided on line.

  5. 7 Mr Carbo.
    May 29, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Why on earth is Tim Baynes a speaker ? Expect a one sided , head in the sand , political propaganda.

  6. 8 crypticmirror
    May 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    But if it becomes admissible, then the great and the good of the land and the agents of the great and the good, they might all go to jail. Imagine the posh people, the demographic from which judges and lawyers still overwhelmingly come from, being subject to common rules and common punishments like the rest of us. Inconceivable!

  7. 9 Barney
    May 29, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Something needs to change, why should some gamekeepers be allowed to keep breaking the law just because they are doing it for rich landowners and then when they do get caught we find they have made the law to suit themselves and the perpetrators get off with it. Some of these cases should have been cut and dried, these bastards are taking the piss out of ordinary descent people and it should be stopped, the law should apply to everyone including the landed gentry.
    If they weren’t doing anything wrong they wouldn’t have anything to worry about and there would not be a need for covert cameras. It’s a case of we want to break the law and we don’t want anything that might catch us. It stinks of corruption.

  8. 10 AnMac
    May 29, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I note there is no one from the Justiciary office taking part in the debate.

    The people mentioned who will give presentations will only give their own perception of how and why the present situation exists.

    We need a justice system which is ‘fit for purpose’ in catching people who break the law to kill birds of prey to suit their own or landowners objectives. These same people need to appear in a court of law and answer for their crimes.

    The lack of corroborative evidence is the stumbling block and will never be changed until we have a wildlife crimefighting force on the ground to get such evidence.

  9. May 29, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    The most that could be expected here will be a close scrutiny of the Crown Office’s decisions..if the Crown Office was serious about wanting this issue dealt with it would run more of these cases to get Case Law, rather than leaving it all in limbo. We either need a rewriting of present law or an explanation of why it is not being correctly applied. Lets get on with it.

  10. 12 stephen macsweeney
    May 29, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    I have heard nothing more about the proposed scottish Raven cull. Can you tell me what has happened/



  11. 14 Chris
    May 29, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    A lorry driver rang in to a radio 2 show today, to say that dash cam evidence from their cabs can be used by police to prosecute speeding and dangerous drivers. So what would be the difference, in terms of admissibility? I can’t see a lot of difference myself!

  12. May 30, 2018 at 7:16 am

    If the admissibility of video evidence is based purely on the basis that it was gained with or without the land owners permission then how is that different from the hunting act prosecutions which were gained using video evidence in a similar manner. Having just gained a successful prosecution against the Fitzwilliam Hunt and another in pipeline against the Thurlow where no such permission was sought (indeed the Thurlow case was actually on their own land) how can these inconsistencies be maintained? What is the difference in the cases of raptor persecution?

    Without this kind of evidence gathering it will become next to impossible to prosecute these criminals and the land owners are certainly not going to give permission to use their land to prosecute their own staff.

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