Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995
|Publication Date:||January 01, 1995|
Criminal Procedure (Scotland)Act 1995
1995 CHAPTER 46
An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to criminal procedure in Scotland.
[8th November 1995]
Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Criminal CourtsJurisdiction and Powers
The High Court
1 Judges in the High Court.
(1) The Lord President of the Court of Session shall be the Lord Justice General and shall perform his duties as the presiding judge of the High Court.
(2) Every person who is appointed to the office of one of the Senators of the College of Justice in Scotland shall, by virtue of such appointment be a Lord Commissioner of Justiciary in Scotland.
(3) If any difference arises as to the rotation of judges in the High Court, it shall be determined by the Lord Justice General, whom failing by the Lord Justice Clerk.
(4) Any Lord Commissioner of Justiciary may preside alone at the trial of an accused before the High Court.
(5) Without prejudice to subsection (4) above, in any trial of difficulty or importance it shall be competent for two or more judges in the High Court to preside for the whole or any part of the trial.
2 Fixing of High Court sittings.
(1) The High Court shall sit at such times and places as the Lord Justice General, whom failing the Lord Justice Clerk, may, after consultation with the Lord Advocate, determine.
(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1) above, the High Court shall hold such additional sittings as the Lord Advocate may require.
(3) Where an accused has been cited to attend a sitting of the High Court, the prosecutor may, at any time before the commencement of his trial, apply to the Court to transfer the case to another sitting of the High Court; and a single judge of the High Court may—
(a) after giving the accused or his counsel an opportunity to be heard; or
(b) on the joint application of all parties
make an order for the transfer of the case.
(4) Where no cases have been indicted for a sitting of the High Court or if it is no longer expedient that a sitting should take place, it shall not be necessary for the sitting to take place.
(5) If any case remains indicted for a sitting which does not take place in pursuance of subsection (4) above, subsection (3) above shall apply in relation to the transfer of any other such case to another sitting.
Solemn courts: general
3 Jurisdiction and powers of solemn courts.
(1) The jurisdiction and powers of all courts of solemn jurisdiction except so far as altered or modified by any enactment passed after the commencement of this Act, shall remain as at the commencement of this Act.
(2) Any crime or offence which is triable on indictment may be tried by the High Court sitting at any place in Scotland.
(3) The sheriff shall, without prejudice to any other or wider power conferred by statute, not be entitled, on the conviction on indictment of an accused, to pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding three years.
(4) Subject to subsection (5) below, where under any enactment passed or made before 1st January 1988 (the date of commencement of section 58 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1987 ) an offence is punishable on conviction on indictment by imprisonment for a term exceeding two years but the enactment either expressly or impliedly restricts the power of the sheriff to impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding two years, it shall be competent for the sheriff to impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding two but not exceeding three years.
(5) Nothing in subsection (4) above shall authorise the imposition by the sheriff of a sentence in excess of the sentence specified by the enactment as the maximum sentence which may be imposed on conviction of the offence.
(6) Subject to any express exclusion contained in any enactment, it shall be lawful to indict in the sheriff court all crimes except murder treason, rape and breach of duty by magistrates.
4 Territorial jurisdiction of sheriff.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the jurisdiction of the sheriffs, within their respective sheriffdoms shall extend to and include all navigable rivers, ports, harbours, creeks, shores and anchoring grounds in or adjoining such sheriffdoms and includes all criminal maritime causes and proceedings (including those applying to persons furth of Scotland) provided that the accused is, by virtue of any enactment or rule of law subject to the jurisdiction of the sheriff before whom the case or proceeding is raised.
(2) Where an offence is alleged to have been committed in one district in a sheriffdom, it shall be competent to try that offence in a sheriff court in any other district in that sheriffdom.
(3) It shall not be competent for the sheriff to try any crime committed on the seas which it would not be competent for him to try if the crime had been committed on land.
(4) The sheriff shall have a concurrent jurisdiction with every other court of summary jurisdiction in relation to all offences competent for trial in such courts.
5 The sheriff: summary jurisdiction and powers.
(1) The sheriff, sitting as a court of summary jurisdiction, shall continue to have all the jurisdiction and powers exercisable by him at the commencement of this Act.
(2) The sheriff shall, without prejudice to any other or wider powers conferred by statute, have power on convicting any person of a common law offence—
(a) to impose a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum;
(b) to ordain the accused to find caution for good behaviour for any period not exceeding 12 months to an amount not exceeding the prescribed sum either in lieu of or in addition to a fine or in addition to imprisonment;
(c) failing payment of such fine, or on failure to find such caution, to award imprisonment in accordance with section 219 of this Act;
(d) to impose imprisonment, for any period not exceeding three months.
(3) Where a person is convicted by the sheriff of—
(a) a second or subsequent offence inferring dishonest appropriation of property, or attempt thereat; or
(b) a second or subsequent offence inferring personal violence,
he may, without prejudice to any wider powers conferred by statute, be sentenced to imprisonment for any period not exceeding six months.
(4) It shall be competent to prosecute summarily in the sheriff court the following offences—
(a) uttering a forged document;
(b) wilful fire-raising;
(c) robbery; and
(d) assault with intent to rob.
6 District courts: area, constitution and prosecutor.
(1) Each commission area shall be the district of a district court and the places at which a district court sits and, subject to section 8 of this Act, the days and times when it sits at any given place, shall be determined by the local authority; and in determining where and when a district court should sit, the local authority shall have regard to the desirability of minimising the expense and inconvenience occasioned to those directly involved, whether as parties or witnesses, in the proceedings before the court.
(2) The jurisdiction and powers of the district court shall be exercisable by a stipendiary magistrate or by one or more justices, and no decision of the court shall be questioned on the ground that it was not constituted as required by this subsection unless objection was taken on that ground by or on behalf of a party to the proceedings not later than the time when the proceedings or the alleged irregularity began.
(3) All prosecutions in a commission area shall proceed at the instance of the procurator fiscal.
(4) The procurator fiscal for an area which includes a commission area shall have all the powers and privileges conferred on a district prosecutor by section 6 of the District Courts (Scotland) Act 1975 .
(5) The prosecutions authorised by the said Act of 1975 under complaint by the procurator fiscal shall be without prejudice to complaints at the instance of any other person entitled to make the same.
(6) In this section—
‘commission area’ means the area of a local authority;
‘justice’ means a justice of the peace appointed or deemed to have been appointed under section 9 of the said Act of 1975; and
‘local authority’ means a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994 .
7 District court: jurisdiction and powers.
(1) A district court shall continue to have all the jurisdiction and powers exercisable by it at the commencement of this Act.
(2) Where several offences, which if committed in one commission area could be tried under one complaint, are alleged to have been committed in different commission areas, proceedings may be taken for all or any...
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