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Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

1Investigation of death and application for public inquiry

(1)Subject to the provisions of any enactment specified in Schedule 1 to this Act and subsection (2) below, where—

(a)in the case of a death to which this paragraph applies—

(i)it appears that the death has resulted from an accident occurring in Scotland while the person who has died, being an employee, was in the course of his employment or, being an employer or self-employed person, was engaged in his occupation as such; or

(ii)the person who has died was, at the time of his death, in legal custody; or

(b)it appears to the Lord Advocate to be expedient in the public interest in the case of a death to which this paragraph applies that an inquiry under this Act should be held into the circumstances of the death on the ground that it was sudden, suspicious or unexplained, or has occurred in circumstances such as to give rise to serious public concern,

the procurator fiscal for the district with which the circumstances of the death appear to be most closely connected shall investigate those circumstances and apply to the sheriff for the holding of an inquiry under this Act into those circumstances.

(2)Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) above applies to a death occurring in Scotland after the commencement of this Act (other than such a death in a case where criminal proceedings have been concluded against any person in respect of the death or any accident from which the death resulted, and the Lord Advocate is satisfied that the circumstances of the death have been sufficiently established in the course of such proceedings), and paragraph (b) of that subsection applies to a death occurring there at any time after the date 3 years before such commencement.

(3)An application under subsection (1) above—

(a)shall be made to the sheriff with whose sheriffdom the circumstances of the death appear to be most closely connected;

(b)shall narrate briefly the circumstances of the death so far as known to the procurator fiscal;

(c)may, if it appears that more deaths than one have occurred as a result of the same accident or in the same or similar circumstances, relate to both or all such deaths.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) (ii) above, a person is in legal custody if—

(a)he is detained in, or is subject to detention in, a prison, remand centre, detention centre, borstal institution, or young offenders institution, all within the meaning of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1952 ; or

(b)he is detained in a police station, police cell, or other similar place; or

(c)he is being taken—

(i)to any of the places specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection to be detained therein; or

(ii)from any such place in which immediately before such taking he was detained.

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