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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Sittings of High Court

112Sittings of Court of Justiciary

(1)All crimes may be tried before any circuit Court of Justiciary by indictment in the same manner as before the High Court at Edinburgh.

(2)All sittings of the Court of Justiciary shall be sittings of the High Court.

113Judges in High Court

(1)Every person who shall be 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.

(2)If any difference shall arise as to the rotation of judges in the High Court, the same shall be determined by the Lord Justice General.

(3)Any judge or judges in the High Court may discharge the duty of any circuit court, notwithstanding that such judge or judges may not have been specially named for that duty.

(4)The Lord Justice General, Lord Justice Clerk, or any Lord Commissioner of Justiciary may preside alone at the trial of any panel before the High Court, and when so presiding shall constitute a quorum of the High Court:

Provided that in any trial of difficulty or importance it shall be competent for two or more judges in the High Court to preside.

114Power to High Court to determine circuits, etc.

(1)It shall be lawful for the High Court by Act of Adjournal from time to time as to them shall seem necessary after consultation with the Lord Advocate—

(a)to alter the existing circuits of the High Court, to form new circuits, and to fix and determine the limits of each existing or new circuit, and the regions and districts or parts thereof which shall be included within the same;

(b)to detach any portion of the district exclusively attached to the said High Court sitting at Edinburgh from such district and to include the same in any adjoining circuit or to detach any district from an adjoining district and to include the same in the district exclusively attached to the said High Court sitting at Edinburgh;

(c)to fix and determine the number of circuit courts to be held and the places at which the same shall be held within each such circuit in each year, and to define the periods of the year at which such circuit courts shall be held and to alter the same as occasion shall require, and to appoint the particular dates of such courts; and

(d)to make such provision as may be necessary for the carrying out of the powers hereinbefore conferred, including such modifications as may appear to be necessary in the existing statutory provisions for preparing and keeping jury books and for making returns of and summoning jurors to serve on any assize for the trial of criminal cases.

(2)The High Court shall hold such sittings for the trial of criminal cases from time to time as may be necessary on the requisition of the Lord Advocate.

115Sitting dispensed with

It shall not be necessary for the High Court to proceed to any town for the purpose of holding any court in use to be held in such town, where there are no cases indicted for the sitting of the court at such town, or when so many of the persons indicted thereto have pleaded guilty before the sheriff at the first diet as to make the holding of a special court inexpedient, and in that event such cases as remain for trial may be ordered to be brought up at another sitting of the High Court in manner provided in section 117 of this Act.

116Adjournment of second diet

When the accused who is cited to the High Court for the second diet has pleaded guilty at the first diet, it shall be lawful for any Lord Commissioner of Justiciary in chambers, and without the presence of the prosecutor or person accused, to adjourn the second diet to any other sitting of the High Court.

117Sitting transferred where few cases

(1)Where so many of the persons who have been indicted for any sitting of the High Court have pleaded guilty at the first diet as to make the holding of a separate court for the cases remaining unnecessary, it shall be lawful for any Lord Commissioner of Justiciary, on the petition of the Lord Advocate, and in chambers and without the presence of the prosecutor or the accused, to order the second diets of such cases to be postponed and to be held at any other sitting of the High Court which is about to be held.

(2)Upon such order for postponement being issued, a notice shall forthwith be served upon the accused, who may have already been cited, in the form set out in Schedule 0 to the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1887 or in an Act of Adjournal under this Act or as nearly as may be in such form.

118Trial on adjacent circuit

Where any crime is committed in a circuit district in which no sitting of the High Court falls to be held in ordinary course for some months thereafter, it shall be competent to cite the accused to appear before any earlier sitting of the High Court in an adjacent circuit district.

119Place of certain trials

Where, because of the distance of any burgh or town from the town in which the High Court usually sits, or for any other cause, it shall be deemed expedient that trials of persons accused of crimes committed in such burgh or town, or in places adjacent thereto, should be tried there instead of being tried at the town in which the court usually sits, it shall be lawful for the High Court at Edinburgh, on the application of the Lord Advocate, to give all such directions in that behalf as the said court shall think fit; and the sheriff of the sheriff court district within which such burgh or town is situated shall give obedience to all directions so given.

120Notification after first diet of intention to plead guilty

(1)Where an accused, who has pleaded not guilty at the first diet, shall thereafter, at any time before the date appointed for the second diet in the High Court, give written notice to the Crown Agent through his own procurator that he intends to plead guilty to the charge in whole or in part, and the Lord Advocate shall intimate to the Clerk of Justiciary that he is prepared to accept such plea, section 116 of this Act shall apply to the case of the accused in like manner as if he had pleaded guilty at the first diet, and where the accused shall at the second diet tender a plea not in accordance with the notice, and such plea shall not be accepted by the prosecutor, section 122 of this Act shall apply in like manner as it applies to the case where the High Court allows a plea of guilty to be withdrawn or modified.

(2)Sections 115 and 117 of this Act shall apply wherever the number of persons indicted for any sitting of the High Court, who have neither pleaded guilty nor in whose cases such notice and intimation as are mentioned in the foregoing subsection have been given, is such as to render the holding of a special or separate court inexpedient or unnecessary.

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