Humza Yousaf has faced a rebellion from backbench MSPs over controversial legislation that would introduce juryless rape trials in Scotland.

While the vote in Holyrood on Tuesday passed, six SNP MSPs abstained rather than vote for the Victims Witnesses and Justice Reform Bill.

There were 62 abstentions among the 122 votes, meaning more politicians abstained than voted for the legislation.

READ MORE: Law Society urges government to ditch juryless rape trials plan

Legal experts have raised concerns about the raft of major changes included in the bill, such as a plan to introduce a pilot where rape trials will be held without a jury.

It would also see the end of Scotland's not proven verdict and see the number of jurors in criminal trials reduced from 15 to 12.

Angela Constance, the justice secretary, has previously said the trials, which would not go ahead until late 2028, may include a tribunal system of a judge with two lay members of the panel.

Among the rebels who abstained were Kate Forbes, who stood against Mr Yousaf in the race to be first minister, Ivan McKee, Michell Thomson and Fergus Ewing.

The bill will now go to line-by-line scrutiny in committee.

Previously, the Scottish Solicitors Bar Association said 97% of defence lawyers would boycott the juryless rape trial pilot, which is backed by third sector organisations such as Rape Crisis Scotland, if it goes ahead.

The bill has already divided opinion in the Scottish Parliament's criminal justice committee when it was initially scrutinised.

Convener Audrey Nicoll MSP's committee said it had not heard "compelling evidence" to support some of the proposals, not least those affecting rape trials.