Trials under the Scottish solemn procedure
Produced in partnership with Craig Findlater of Black Chambers and Stephen O'Rourke QC of Terra Firma Chambers
Trials under the Scottish solemn procedure

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Craig Findlater of Black Chambers and Stephen O'Rourke QC of Terra Firma Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trials under the Scottish solemn procedure
  • High Court—fixed trials and dedicated floating trials (DFTs)
  • Sheriff and jury trials—floating trials
  • The unempanelled jurors
  • Who requires to be present to commence a trial?
  • How does the trial begin?
  • Evidence and questioning
  • Statement of uncontroversial evidence and agreement of evidence
  • The leading of evidence
  • Special measures
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance impacted by the Scottish government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Scottish criminal procedure, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Scotland tracker and News Analysis: Scottish Criminal Procedure and the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. For updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for UK lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the criminal justice system—overview and Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.

This Practice Note explains solemn trial procedure in Scotland and should be read in conjunction with Scottish solemn criminal procedure—flowchart.

For details of pre-trial preparation under the solemn procedure, see Practice Note: Solemn procedure in Scottish criminal proceedings.

For an introduction to the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences in Scotland, see Practice Note: An introduction to Scottish criminal procedure.

High Court—fixed trials and dedicated floating trials (DFTs)

In the High Court of Justiciary, trial diets fixed at preliminary hearings are either fixed diets (which must take place on the date assigned otherwise the indictment falls) or dedicated floating diets. A floating diet is referred to as a ‘DFT’. Floating trials are assigned for a date plus a number of other days, up to a maximum of four, known as ‘the float’ or ‘the float period’.

Fixed diets tend to be fixed when the court is sitting on circuit where there is only one court and

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