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NCJ Number: 200829 Find in a Library
Title: Scottish Jury
Journal: International Review of Penal Law  Volume:72  Issue:1-2  Dated:2001  Pages:259-272
Author(s): Christopher Gane
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 14
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: France
Annotation: This article describes the characteristics of the jury system in Scotland.
Abstract: The lowest tier of criminal courts, the District court, relies heavily on lay justices, and the Children’s Hearing places primary responsibility for disposing cases on lay members of the community. The basic principles of Scottish criminal procedure are the distinction between ‘solemn’ and ‘summary’ criminal proceedings. In solemn proceedings trial takes place before a judge and jury whereas in summary proceedings trial takes place before a judge sitting alone. The punitive powers of the court are significantly less in summary proceedings than in solemn proceedings. Pretrial procedures differ between the two forms of procedure. In solemn proceedings, the arrest of the accused will be followed by judicial examination. In summary proceedings, there is no such pretrial judicial examination. The rules governing appeals differ. The prosecutor may appeal against an acquittal in summary proceedings while no appeal is possible against an acquittal in solemn proceedings. Jurors must be 18 to 65 years of age, a resident, and registered as an elector in local or parliamentary elections. The right to jury trial does not exist in Scottish procedure. The Scottish jury consists of 15 people. In marked contrast to the English tradition, the Scottish jury may return its verdict by a simple majority. There are three verdicts: guilty, not guilty, and not proven. There is a widespread view that a verdict of not proven is not as good an acquittal as a verdict of not guilty. The jury has no role in the discovery of proof, whether for or against guilty. The jury has an important role in determining the weight that is to be given to the evidence. There is little prospect of change in the role of the jury. There has been discussion of the wisdom of retaining the not proven verdict but the prevailing political view is that it will remain. 42 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juries; Scotland
Index Term(s): Foreign courts; Jury selection; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Right to trial by jury; Trial procedures; Verdicts
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