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  2. Lee Curley: Informing Reform: Does the Not Proven Verdict Have a Place in a Modern Courtroom?

Lee Curley: Informing Reform: Does the Not Proven Verdict Have a Place in a Modern Courtroom?

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This talk was recorded and presented for the launch of the OPRC, Opening Psychology for Changing Times in Summer 2021.

Scotland’s three-verdict system, which includes the unique verdict of not proven (an additional acquittal verdict), has been in the docks of public opinion again. The not proven verdict has been critiqued for potentially playing a role in the low conviction rate in rape trials. In this talk, Dr Lee John Curley evaluates the not proven verdict from the perspectives of legal professionals and through discussing his findings from a recent mock juror study. Dr Curley suggests that the current three-verdict system should reform to a binary verdict system of proven and not proven, as said system may direct jurors to focus on ‘proof’ rather than on ‘truth’.

Key Readings:

Curley, Lee; Munro, James; Frumkin, Lara and Turner, Jim (2021). Informing Reform: The views of legal professionals on the unique aspects of Scottish Law. Medicine, Science and the Law (Early Access).

Curley, Lee; Murray, Jennifer; MacLean, Rory; Munro, James; Lages, Martin; Frumkin, Lara; Laybourn, Phyllis and Brown, David (2021). Verdict spotting: Investigating the effects of juror bias, evidence anchors, and verdict system in jurors. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (Early Access).

Curley, Lee; MacLean, Rory; Murray, Jennifer; Laybourn, Phyllis and Brown, David (2019). The bastard verdict and its influence on jurors. Medicine, Science and the Law, 59(1) pp. 26–35.