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Diets under section 76 of Criminal Procedure Act

1 June 00

Advice from the Deputy Crown Agent for accused persons wishing to plead under accelerated procedure and have their cases called at a local sitting of the High Court

by FR Crowe

Justiciary Office have advised that accused persons wishing to plead guilty in terms of Section 76 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 in High Court cases may have these cases called and dealt with at the first day of a High Court sitting local to the case. Cases from Edinburgh and the surrounding area may be dealt with at Edinburgh High Court sittings in the Lawnmarket building rather than in the Parliament Square building at present.

Ideally at least six weeks’ notice should be given to the Crown in those cases where the accused wishes to take advantage of the accelerated Section 76 procedure. This avoids the necessity of the Crown having to prepare a full trial indictment. Procurators Fiscal can advise whether particular petition cases are seen as being of High Court potential. Ultimately, however, the decision as to forum in these matters is of course one for Crown Counsel.

Where accused persons wish to take advantage of these procedures the solicitor instructed should advise the Procurator Fiscal when submitting the Section 76 letter of the High Court sitting at which the accused would wish his case dealt with. As indicated above where possible every attempt will be made to accommodate this request.

F R Crowe, Deputy Crown Agent