Letter: Howard's Bill will turn ramblers into criminals

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Sir: In your leading article today (25 July), you refer to 'the long- standing British legal principle that trespass is a civil rather than a criminal matter'. I beg to differ. It may well be an immemorial principle of English law, but it is not one of Scots law.

As well as a delict (tort) of trespass in Scotland, there is also the little know section 3 of the Trespass (Scotland) Act 1865. This creates a criminal offence of trespass in respect of private property and, while it is tightly circumscribed in effect, it would catch the activities that are the concern of many of those currently protesting against the Criminal Justice Bill in England.

Yours faithfully,



25 July