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1. Dean's Debate - Limitation of powers to cross examine vulnerable witnesses
Thursday 06 September 2018
05:45pm - 07:15pm
Nick Hobbs, Sandra Brindley, Derek Ogg QC and Thomas Ross QC
Seminar Details:

The motion for this year's Dean's Debate will be - This house considers that procedures should be implemented whereby vulnerable witnesses do not require to appear personally in court.

Proposing the motion will be Nick Hobbs (Head of Advice and Investigations, Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland) and Sandy Brindley (Chief Executive, Rape Crisis (Scotland)) will be seconding.

Opposing the motion will be Derek Ogg QC (Advocate) and Thomas Ross QC (Advocate).

This is a free event.


Speakers - 

Sandy Brindley has been Chief Executive of Rape Crisis Scotland since 2017, and was National Coordinator prior to that from 2003 when the national organisation was established. Prior to her involvement with Rape Crisis Scotland, Sandy worked at the Rape Crisis Centre in Glasgow for 8 years. Sandy has been a member of the advisory groups for both the Scottish Law Commission and the Crown office reviews of rape and sexual offences. She is a member of several strategic working groups to improve responses to rape, including the Scottish Government’s Joint Strategic Board on Violence against Women and Girls, and the Crown Office Expert Group on Sexual Offences. Sandy has also been heavily involved in the development of several national public awareness campaigns including “This is not an invitation to rape me”, “Not ever”, and #ijustfroze. She was also instrumental in setting up the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre which provides free legal advice to survivors of gender-based violence and aims to improve women’s legal rights through strategic litigation.

Nick Hobbs is Head of Advice and Investigations at the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS). His role is to make it easier for children and young people to know how they can raise concerns about times when their rights aren’t respected, and to make sure the Commissioner's office can take action to challenge rights violations when it’s appropriate to do so. Prior to joining CYPCS, Nick spent 11 years working in the children’s hearings system as Policy and Public Affairs Manager for the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration. Nick graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Law Degree in 2001 before moving to Scotland in 2003. He has an MSc in Human Rights and International Politics from the University of Glasgow. He is Chair of the Scottish Child Law Centre and lectures on children’s rights and the Hearings system at the University of Edinburgh and at Edinburgh Napier University.

Derek Ogg was a solicitor in private practice from 1979 before calling to the bar in 1989. He was Chairman of Faculty of Advocates Criminal Bar Association from 2004 to 2006. He was appointed Crown Counsel in 2007 at Senior level. He was further promoted to the second most senior post as Assistant Principal Advocate Depute in 2009. Additionally he was appointed as Head of National Sexual Crimes Unit. Since leaving Crown Office in 2011 he has been heavily instructed as defence counsel in the most serious of cases. He is also a well known commentator and broadcaster on legal policy issues in Scotland and is a regular guest on current affairs programmes.

Thomas Ross was a trainee and solicitor in Glasgow. He served as President of the Glasgow Bar Association from 1995-96 and became a Solicitor Advocate in 1997. He called to the bar in 2000; and since has instructed in more than 1000 criminal cases, almost exclusively in the High Court in Glasgow. He was President of Scottish Criminal Bar Association 2015/2016 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in August 2017.


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