Section 79 – Separation of jury after retiral
443.Section 79 amends section 99 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 to provide judges with the power to allow jurors to go home overnight even after they have retired to consider their verdict.
444.Section 99(4) of the 1995 Act provides that the judge may give appropriate instructions as regards the making of arrangements for overnight accommodation for the jury and for their continued seclusion if such accommodation is provided. This section is traditionally read as making the seclusion of the jury mandatory.
445.Section 79 inserts a new subsection (7) to provide the court with the power to allow the jury to separate after it has retired to consider its verdict, if this is considered appropriate.