This Practice Note explains summary criminal procedure in Scotland. It covers how proceedings are raised, how proceedings against organisations are brought, bail, applicable time limits, pleading diets, dealing with preliminary pleas and issues, disclosure, Health and Safety Division cases, defence statements, notices of defence, intermediate diets as well as the trial diet.
All proceedings for offences under summary procedure shall be instituted by complaint signed by the prosecutor. Examples of charges on complaint are provided in CP(S)A 1995, Schedule 5.
The complaint must be in the prescribed form (form 16.1-A) which is contained in Act of Adjournal (Criminal Procedure Rules) 1996 (AA(CPR) 1996), SI 1996/513.
The complaint ordinarily proceeds at the instance of the Procurator Fiscal in the jurisdiction where the alleged offence occurred.
The principal complaint must be signed by the Procurator Fiscal or one of his or her deputies. A failure to sign the principal complaint cannot be cured subsequently. This means that the prosecution on that complaint will be brought to an end. If the charge is one to which a time bar (time limit within which proceedings must be raised) applies, and the last date for raising proceedings has passed, that will be the end of the prosecution. If there is no time bar, the proceedings can be re-raised on another summary complaint.
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