Caselaw: Bail in High Court Proceedings

If I should ever be tempted to think that my years of experience practicing in the criminal courts in Scotland means that I know all there is to know about procedure then the case of AA v HM Advocate [2016] HCJAC 17 serves as an abrupt slap in the face. Practitioners will be well aware Read more about Caselaw: Bail in High Court Proceedings[…]

Caselaw: Rodgerson v PF Alloa – “Significant Sexual Element” in a Social Media case.

In the recent appeal of Rodgerson v Procurator Fiscal, Alloa [2016] HCJAC 12, the question of whether the circumstances of the offence contained a “significant sexual element” was considered. That phrase is important.  The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides for the registration of offenders who have committed sexual offences.  Schedule 3 to the Act specifies offences Read more about Caselaw: Rodgerson v PF Alloa – “Significant Sexual Element” in a Social Media case.[…]

Caselaw: Private Chatroom Bile Appeal Fails

When is something said in private criminal? When it is threatening or abusive and likely to cause the reasonable person fear or alarm. In Preston v PF Dundee, the appellant was convicted of a contravention of Section 38(1) of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. He had engaged the services of an online chatroom Read more about Caselaw: Private Chatroom Bile Appeal Fails[…]

Insight: Sexual Assault – A Higher Hurdle?

In the recent case of Tait v HM Advocate [2015] HCJAC 58, the Appeal Court was asked to consider whether the appellant’s conviction under Section 20 of the 2009 Act ought to be quashed. The interesting aspect of this appeal was the approach of the Court to the interpretation of Section 20 of the Act, Read more about Insight: Sexual Assault – A Higher Hurdle?[…]

Caselaw: Oppression by the Crown

In HM Advocate v JRD, the Trial Judge deserted a case simpliciter having decided that the Crown acted oppressively in bringing forth allegations against the accused for which there was no evidential basis. The accused was indicted for trial on three charges.  The first two charges related to the same complainer, CD: –  (1) that on various Read more about Caselaw: Oppression by the Crown[…]

Caselaw: Willful Neglect of Duty by a Constable

The recent Appeal Court decision of Carmichael v PF Airdrie is an interesting little case. The appellant, a serving police constable, was called to investigate an anonymous tip-off of a drunk driver at the wheel of a specified vehicle. The appellant attended at the home address of the registered keeper. The vehicle was parked outside. Read more about Caselaw: Willful Neglect of Duty by a Constable[…]

Caselaw: Overturning the Jury’s Verdict.

The recent appeal decision in MacKinnon v HM Advocate [2015] HCJAC 6 serves as a reminder that the statutory ground of appeal contained in Section 106(3)(b) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 will succeed only in exceptional cases. Delivering the opinion of the court, Lady Dorrian re-states the matters essential to the consideration of Read more about Caselaw: Overturning the Jury’s Verdict.[…]

Caselaw: Carrying Knives, Knowledge and Reasonable Excuse

Section 49 of the Criminal Law Consolidation (Scotland) Act 1995, as amended makes it an offence for a person to have with him in a public place a sharply pointed or bladed article.  It is important to note that the words “to have with him” ignore any question of knowledge and intent.  The careless, casual, Read more about Caselaw: Carrying Knives, Knowledge and Reasonable Excuse[…]

Be Prepared! Disclosure and the Defence

The first instance judgement of Lord Turnbull issued in HM Advocate v Thomson [2014] HCJAC 107 is a must-read for any criminal practitioner. The accused was charged with the rape of a vulnerable young female. The case was originally set down for Preliminary Hearing on the last day before the expiry of the 11-month time limit. However, Read more about Be Prepared! Disclosure and the Defence[…]

Opening of the Legal Year 2014

Yesterday, Lord Gill, the Lord President and Lord Justice General gave his annual address to the court in which he reviewed the year passed and set out his views for the year ahead.  Of particular interest for the criminal practitioner was the news that the High Court of Justiciary was now free from backlogs, the Read more about Opening of the Legal Year 2014[…]