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5In section 71 (first diet of proceedings on indictment in sheriff court)—
(a)at the beginning there is inserted—
“(A1)At a first diet, the court shall, where the accused is charged with a sexual offence to which section 288C of this Act applies, ascertain whether he has engaged a solicitor for the purposes of his defence at the trial.”;
(b)after subsection (5) there is inserted—
(a)the accused is charged with a sexual offence to which section 288C of this Act applies; and
(b)the court has not ascertained (whether at that diet or earlier) that he has engaged a solicitor for the purposes of his defence at the trial,
a first diet may not proceed in his absence; and, in such a case, the court shall adjourn the diet and ordain the accused then to attend.”; and
(c)after subsection (8) there is inserted—
“(8A)Where the court adjourns a first diet under subsection (8) above by reason only that, following inquiries for the purposes of subsection (A1) above, it appears to the court that the accused has not engaged a solicitor for the purposes of his defence at his trial, that adjournment shall be for a period of not more than 48 hours and the accused shall be ordained to then attend.”.
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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills
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