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Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016

Inserted section 288J– Effect of postponement

286.Subsection (1) provides that, where a case is postponed to the next day under section 288I, that day and any intervening weekend days or court holidays do not count towards any time limits – such as, for example, those for detaining a person in custody pending a first diet or preliminary hearing in the case. However, this provision does not apply where the accused is in police custody under section 21(2) of this Act, which requires an accused, if practicable, to be brought before a court before the end of the first day on which the court is sitting following the accused’s arrest; or as soon as practicable thereafter.

287.The effect of this is that when a postponement is regarded as necessary for an accused in police custody, the accused still has a right to submit that the section 21 requirements have not been complied with, even if the postponement had become unavoidable by the time it was granted. It would then be up to the court to decide if the circumstances provide sufficient justification for the delay. Nonetheless, a postponement in such a situation remains competent, as subsection (2) makes clear.

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