Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1993 c. 9


Prisoners and CriminalProceedings (Scotland) Act1993

1993 CHAPTER 9

An Act to amend the law of Scotland with respect to the detention, transfer and release of persons serving sentences of imprisonment etc. or committed or remanded in custody; to make further provision as regards evidence and procedure in criminal proceedings in Scotland; and for connected purposes.

[29th March 1993]

Be it 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:—

I Detention, Transfer and Release of Offenders

Part I

Detention, Transfer and Release of Offenders

Early release

Early release

S-1 Release of short-term, long-term and life prisoners.

1 Release of short-term, long-term and life prisoners.

(1) As soon as a short-term prisoner has served one-half of his sentence the Secretary of State shall, without prejudice to any supervised release order to which the prisoner is subject, release him unconditionally.

(2) As soon as a long-term prisoner has served two-thirds of his sentence, the Secretary of State shall release him on licence.

(3) After a long-term prisoner has served one-half of his sentence the Secretary of State may, if recommended to do so by the Parole Board under this section, release him on licence.

(4) If recommended to do so by the Parole Board under this section, the Secretary of State may, after consultation with—

(a) the Lord Justice General, whom failing the Lord Justice Clerk; and

(b) if available, the trial judge,

release on licence a life prisoner who is not a discretionary life prisoner.

(5) The Parole Board shall not make a recommendation under subsection (4) above unless the Secretary of State has referred the case to the Board for its advice.

(6) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the Secretary of State shall not release a person who is serving—

(a) a sentence of imprisonment for a term and one or more sentences of imprisonment for life; or

(b) more than one sentence of imprisonment for life,

unless and until the requirements of those provisions are satisfied in respect of each of those sentences.

(7) A person to whom subsection (6) above applies shall, when released on licence under this section, be released on a single licence under subsection (4) above.

(8) Schedule 1 to this Act, which makes special provision as respects the release of persons serving both a sentence of imprisonment imposed on conviction of an offence and a term of imprisonment or detention referred to in section 5(1)(a) or (b) of this Act, shall have effect.

S-2 Duty to release discretionary life prisoners.

2 Duty to release discretionary life prisoners.

(1) In this Part of this Act ‘discretionary life prisoner’, subject to subsection (9)(a) below and except where the context otherwise requires, means a life prisoner—

(a) whose sentence was imposed for an offence the sentence for which is not fixed by law; and

(b) in respect of whom the court which sentenced him for that offence made the order mentioned in subsection (2) below.

(2) The order referred to in subsection (1)(b) above is an order that subsections (4) and (6) below shall apply to the life prisoner as soon as he has served such part of his sentence (‘the relevant part’) as is specified in the order, being such part as the court considers appropriate taking into account—

(a) the seriousness of the offence, or of the offence combined with other offences associated with it; and

(b) any previous conviction of the life prisoner.

(3) Where a court which imposes life imprisonment for an offence such as is mentioned in subsection (1)(a) above decides not to make such order as is mentioned in subsection (2) above, it shall state its reasons for so deciding; and for the purposes of any appeal or review, any such order and any such decision shall each constitute part of a person's sentence within the meaning of the 1975 Act.

(4) Where this subsection applies, the Secretary of State shall, if directed to do so by the Parole Board, release a discretionary life prisoner on licence.

(5) The Parole Board shall not give a direction under subsection (4) above unless—

(a) the Secretary of State has referred the prisoner's case to the Board; and

(b) the Board is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the prisoner should he confined.

(6) Where this subsection applies, a discretionary life prisoner may, subject to subsection (7) below, at any time require the Secretary of State to refer his case to the Parole Board.

(7) No requirement shall be made under subsection (6) above—

(a) where the prisoner is also serving a sentence of imprisonment for a term, before he has served one-half of that sentence; and

(b) where less than two years has elapsed since the disposal of any (or the most recent if more than one) previous reference of his case to the Board under subsection (5)(a) or (6) above or under section 17(3) of this Act.

(8) In determining for the purposes of subsection (4) or (6) above whether a discretionary life prisoner has served the relevant part of his sentence, no account shall be taken of any time during which he was unlawfully at large.

(9) Where a life prisoner is serving two or more sentences of imprisonment for life—

(a) he is a discretionary life prisoner only if the requirements of subsection (1) above are satisfied in respect of each of those sentences;

(b) notwithstanding the terms of any order under subsection (2) above, subsections (4) and (6) above shall not apply to him until he has served the relevant part of each of those sentences; and

(c) he shall, if released on licence under subsection (4) above, be so released on a single licence.

S-3 Power to release prisoners on compassionate grounds.

3 Power to release prisoners on compassionate grounds.

(1) The Secretary of State may at any time, if satisfied that there are compassionate grounds justifying the release of a person serving a sentence of imprisonment, release him on licence.

(2) Before so releasing any long-term prisoner or any life prisoner, the Secretary of State shall consult the Parole Board unless the circumstances are such as to render consultation impracticable.

(3) The release of a person under subsection (1) above shall not constitute release for the purpose of a supervised release order.

S-4 Persons detained under Mental Health \(Scotland) Act 1984.

4 Persons detained under Mental Health \(Scotland) Act 1984.

(1) Notwithstanding that a transfer direction and a restriction direction (those expressions having the same meanings as in the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 ) have been given in respect of a person serving a sentence of imprisonment, this Part of this Act shall apply to the person as if he continued to serve that sentence while detained in, and as if he had not been removed to, hospital.

(2) In section 71(7)(a) of the said Act of 1984 (categories of prisoner who may be transferred to hospital), the words ‘in criminal proceedings’ shall cease to have effect.

(3) For sections 74 and 75 of the said Act of 1984 there shall be substituted the following section—

S-74 ‘Further provision as to transfer directions and restriction directions.

74 ‘Further provision as to transfer directions and restriction directions.

(1) This subsection applies where a transfer direction and a restriction direction have been given in respect of a person—

(a) serving a sentence of imprisonment; or

(b) who is detained (other than in respect of a criminal offence) under or by virtue of the Immigration Act 1971 ,

if the Secretary of State is satisfied, at a time when the person would but for those directions be, by virtue of the circumstance mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) above, in prison or being...

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