Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1887



Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act, 1887

(50 & 51 Vict.) CHAPTER 35.

An Act to simplify and amend the Criminal Law of Scotland and its Procedure and to alter the Constitution of the Justiciary and Sheriff Courts in Scotland.

[16th September 1887]

W HEREAS it is expedient that the procedure in the criminal courts in Scotland should be simplified and amended and the constitution thereof altered:

Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

S-1 Interpretation.

1 Interpretation.

1. In this Act the following words and expressions are used in the following senses, unless the context shows that a different sense is intended:

Every expression which refers to Her Majesty the Queen is intended to refer to Her Majesty and Her heirs and successors.

‘Lord Commissioner of Justiciary’ shall include Lord Justice General and Lord Justice Clerk.

‘High Court of Justiciary’ shall include any Court held by the Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, or any of them.

‘Clerk of Justiciary’ shall include Assistant Clerk of Justiciary, and shall extend and apply to any person duly authorised to execute the duties of Principal Clerk of Justiciary, or Assistant Clerk of Justiciary.

‘Sheriff’ shall include Sheriff Substitute.

‘Sheriff Clerk’ shall include Sheriff Clerk Depute, and shall extend and apply to any person duly authorised to execute the duties of Sheriff Clerk.

‘Officer of police’ shall include chief constable, deputy chief constable, constable, and criminal officer.

‘Procurator Fiscal’ shall mean Sheriff's Procurator Fiscal, and shall include the Procurator Fiscal of the county of the city of Edinburgh, and of the city and burgh of Aberdeen, and shall include Depute Procurator Fiscal, and shall extend and apply to any person duly authorised to execute the duties of such Procurator Fiscal.

‘County’ shall extend to the limits within which the sheriff has jurisdiction in criminal matters whether by statute or at common law.

‘District’ shall mean any part of a county in which a separate court is held, and for which a separate procurator fiscal is appointed, and shall include any county or combination of counties for which one sheriff court and one procurator fiscal are appointed

‘Crime’ shall include high crime and offence, felony, crime and offence, offence and misdemeanor, and shall include attempt.

‘Indictment’ shall include any indictment whether in the Sheriff Court or the High Court of Justiciary framed according to the existing practice, or according to the form given in Schedule A. to this Act annexed.

‘Extract conviction’ or ‘extract of previous conviction’ shall include certified copy conviction, certificate of conviction, and any other document under the hand of the proper officer in use to be issued from any Court of Justice of the United Kingdom as evidence of a conviction.

S-2 Indictment forms.

2 Indictment forms.

2. All prosecutions for the public interest before the High Court of Justiciary and before the Sheriff Court where the sheriff is sitting with a jury, shall proceed on indictment in name of Her Majesty's Advocate, and in all cases in which by the existing law and practice such prosecutions proceed on criminal letters, indictment shall be used instead thereof, and such indictment may be in accordance with the forms contained in Schedule A. appended to this Act, or as nearly conform thereto as the circumstances permit, and shall be signed by Her Majesty's Advocate or one of his deputes, or by a Procurator Fiscal, and the words ‘By Authority of Her Majesty's Advocate’ shall be prefixed to the signature of such Procurator Fiscal.

S-3 Procedure on resignation, death, or removal of Lord Advocate.

3 Procedure on resignation, death, or removal of Lord Advocate.

3. The Lord Advocate and his Deputes shall not demit office on the resignation of the Lord Advocate, but shall continue in office until their successors respectively receive their appointments, and the Lord Advocate shall enter upon the duties of his office immediately on receiving his appointment, and may take the oaths of office before any Secretary of State or any Lord Commissioner of Justiciary; and all indictments which have been raised by any Lord Advocate shall continue in force and effect notwithstanding such resignation, and may be taken up and proceeded with by his successor; and where any Lord Advocate shall die during his tenure of office, or otherwise be removed from office, it shall be lawful to indict persons accused in name of the Solicitor General then in office, until another Lord Advocate is appointed, and the Advocates Depute and Procurators Fiscal shall have power, notwithstanding such death or removal from office of the Lord Advocate, to take up and proceed with any indictments already raised in name of such Lord Advocate, and any indictments that may be raised in name of such Solicitor General.

S-4 Indictments. Naming of accused.

4 Indictments. Naming of accused.

4. A person accused may be named and designed in an indictment according to the existing practice, or he may be named by the name given by him and designed as of the place given by him as his residence when he is examined on declaration, and it shall not be necessary to set forth any other name or names by which he may be known, or any other address or designation.

S-5 Nomen juris unnecessary.

5 Nomen juris unnecessary.

5. It shall not be necessary in any indictment to specify by anynomen juris the crime which is charged, but it shall be sufficient that the indictment sets forth facts relevant and sufficient to constitute an indictable crime.

S-6 Case of two or more persons charged.

6 Case of two or more persons charged.

6. When in any indictment two or more persons are charged together with committing a crime, it shall not be necessary to allege that ‘both and each or one or other,’ or that ‘all and each or one or more’ of them committed the crime, or did or failed to do any particular act, but such alternatives shall be implied in all such indictments.

S-7 ‘Guilty, actor or art and part,’ unnecessary.

7 ‘Guilty, actor or art and part,’ unnecessary.

7. It shall not be necessary to state that a person accused is ‘guilty, actor or art and part,’ in any indictment according to the existing practice, but such charge shall be implied in all indictments.

S-8 Qualifying words to be implied.

8 Qualifying words to be implied.

8. It shall not be necessary in any indictment to allege that any act of commission or omission therein charged was done or omitted to be done ‘wilfully’ or ‘maliciously,’ or ‘wickedly and feloniously,’ or ‘falsely and fraudulently,’ or ‘knowingly,’ or ‘culpably and recklessly,’ or ‘negligently,’ or in ‘breach of duty,’ or to use such words as ‘knowing the same to be forged,’ or ‘having good reason to know,’ or ‘well knowing the same to have been stolen,’ or to use any similar words or expressions qualifying any act charged, but such qualifying allegation shall be implied in every case in which according to the existing law and practice its insertion would be necessary in order to make the indictment relevant.

S-9 Quotation of statutes unnecessary.

9 Quotation of statutes unnecessary.

9. It shall not be necessary in an indictment for a crime punishable under any Act of Parliament to quote the Act of Parliament or any part of it, but it shall be sufficient to allege that the crime was committed contrary to such Act of Parliament, and to refer to the Act and any section of the Act founded on without setting forth the enactment in words at length.

S-10 Latitude as to time and place.

10 Latitude as to time and place.

10. The latitude now in use to be taken in stating time in indictments at the instance of Her Majesty's Advocate shall be implied in all statements of time where an exact time is not of the essence of the charge, and the latitude now in use to be taken in stating any place in such indictments by adding to the word ‘at,’ or to the word ‘in,’ the words ‘or near,’ or the words ‘or in the near neighbourhood thereof,’ or similar words, shall be implied in all statements of place where the actual place is not of the essence of the charge, and where the circumstances of the offence charged make it necessary to take an exceptional latitude in regard to time or place it shall not be necessary to set forth such circumstances in the indictment, or to set forth that the particular time or the particular place is to the prosecutor unknown; provided always that where exceptional latitude is taken, the court shall, if satisfied that such exceptional latitude was not reasonable in the circumstances of the case, give such remedy to the person accused by adjournment of the trial or otherwise as shall seem just.

S-11 Latitude as to quantities, persons, things, or...

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