Trials under the Scottish solemn procedure
Produced in partnership with Craig Findlater of The Faculty of Advocates and Stephen O’Rourke QC of Terra Firma Chambers, Edinburgh and Field Court Chambers, London

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Craig Findlater of The Faculty of Advocates and Stephen O’Rourke QC of Terra Firma Chambers, Edinburgh and Field Court Chambers, London 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...

Trials under the Scottish solemn procedure

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scottish criminal procedure has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Practitioners should monitor the Coronavirus information and updates section of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service website and check for announcements relevant to the specific courts in which their matters are proceeding. Further information can also be found on our Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Scotland tracker, which contains an archive of news analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on the Scottish legal profession, divided into practice areas.

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 guidance on the appeal procedures in Scotland for solemn crime, see Practice Note: Scottish criminal appeals—solemn procedure.

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 (High Court), 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 to commence on the stated date or on the subsequent court days, up to a

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