Phrases and Meanings | COPFS


Typically we are going to use authorized phrases and language that you could be not perceive. We’ve created this alphabetical checklist to clarify what a few of our extra generally used phrases imply.

If there are phrases or phrases you wish to see added to this web page, please get in contact with COPFS and tell us.

A

Absolute discharge – As a substitute of sentencing an offender the court docket might make an order discharging her or him completely. This may be carried out the place:

  • an individual is convicted on Indictment of an offence (aside from an offence the sentence for which is mounted by regulation), if it seems to the court docket, having regard to the circumstances together with the character of the offence and the character of the offender, that it isn’t applicable to inflict punishment it could as an alternative of sentencing him make an order discharging her or him completely.
  • The place an individual is charged earlier than a court docket of abstract jurisdiction with an offence (aside from an offence the sentence for which is mounted by regulation) and the court docket is happy that she or he dedicated the offence, the court docket, whether it is of the opinion, having regard to the circumstances together with the character of the offence and the character of the offender, that it isn’t applicable to inflict punishment might with out continuing to conviction make an order discharging her or him completely.

Accused – Refers to an individual alleged to have dedicated against the law. The time period ‘defendant’ will not be utilized in Scotland.

Acquittal – A verdict of a jury, or a call of a Decide, Sheriff or magistrate. It signifies that the accused particular person will not be responsible or the case will not be confirmed.

Adjournment – A break in court docket proceedings. This may very well be for lunch, in a single day or to a brand new date.

Advocate – A lawyer who’s a member of the College of Advocates, or Scottish Bar. Also referred to as Counsel. Totally different advocates act for the prosecution and the defence.

Advocate depute – An skilled prosecutor who seems within the Excessive Courtroom. They make selections in severe circumstances and Deadly Accident Inquiries. Advocate Deputes additionally present recommendation to Procurators Fiscal on advanced or delicate authorized points.

Allegation – A declare or accusation that has been made however not but proved.

Enchantment – A problem to a conviction and/or sentence.

B

Bail – Circumstances imposed upon an accused particular person by the Courtroom. An accused particular person could also be launched on customary bail or bail with particular circumstances, for instance, a situation stopping contact with a named witness.

The accused should conform to the circumstances earlier than the court docket will launch them on bail.

Bar officer – Also referred to as a court docket officer. An individual within the Sheriff Courtroom or the magistrate Courtroom who escorts the Sheriff or magistrate to and from court docket. The Bar officer gives basic help in court docket. This may increasingly embrace calling every witness into the Courtroom and exhibiting witnesses items of proof.

C

Cost – The crime that the accused particular person is alleged to have dedicated.

Quotation – The documentation that tells a witness or juror the place and when to go to court docket.

Courtroom Clerk – The one that calls the case, data the court docket proceedings, and provides recommendation on court docket process.

Commissioner – Somebody who hears proof from a weak or youngster witness prematurely of a trial. This can be a Decide, Sheriff or different appropriate particular person. The proof can be audio and visually recorded to be used at trial.

Committal for additional examination – The accused’s first look in court docket in relation to solemn proceedings. The Listening to is held in personal. The accused can be granted bail or remanded in custody till trial.

Group Payback Order – A sentencing choice obtainable to court docket upon conviction of an accused. The order might be be made for a interval between 6 months and three years. It imposes sure necessities on an offender.

Grievance – A press release, made by a witness to the police, accusing an individual of committing against the law.

Confiscation – Cash or different property taken from an accused one who benefited from felony exercise.

Conviction – When an individual accused of against the law pleads responsible, or the court docket finds them responsible after trial, they’re convicted of the offence.

Copy criticism – A doc served by COPFS on an accused particular person, detailing the crimes alleged towards them and when and the place to look in court docket.

Corroboration – An accused particular person can’t be convicted in Scotland except there may be proof from no less than two separate sources. That is referred to as corroboration.

It should be proved by corroborated proof that each:

  • against the law recognized to the regulation of Scotland was dedicated
  • the accused particular person was answerable for the crime

Counsel – Advocates who act for the prosecution or the defence. Advocates are attorneys who’re members of the College of Advocates or Scottish Bar.

Courtroom familiarisation go to – A go to to the Courtroom that takes place earlier than a trial. It may assist witnesses change into extra acquainted and cozy with the court docket.

Courtroom officer – Additionally know as a Bar Officer. An individual within the Sheriff Courtroom or the magistrate Courtroom who escorts the Sheriff or magistrate to and from court docket. The Courtroom Officer gives basic help in court docket. This may increasingly embrace calling every witness into the Courtroom and exhibiting witnesses items of proof.

Within the Excessive Courtroom, they might be often called a Macer.

Cross-examination – First a witness is questioned by the lawyer who summoned them to court docket (the prosecutor or the defence). Afterwards, the opposing attorneys might query (cross-examine) them.

Crown counsel – An skilled prosecutor, also called an Advocate Depute, who seems within the Excessive Courtroom.

Custody – An individual is in custody when they’re in jail, a younger offenders’ establishment, or a police cell.

D

Defence lawyer/counsel – Authorized consultant for the accused.

Deferred sentence – After conviction, the court docket my defer a case to a date sooner or later earlier than imposing a last sentence on an accused. This era is often between three and 12 months.

E

Proof – What a witness says throughout a trial is proof. Proof can be within the type of bodily objects corresponding to paperwork, pictures, garments and CCTV footage.

Examination-in-chief – The questioning by the lawyer who has requested the witness to come back to court docket (the prosecutor or the defence). That is the primary set of questions the witness is requested. After examination-in-chief the opposing lawyer then has a possibility to cross-examine the witness.

Prolonged sentence – A sentence that includes time in custody adopted by a interval of being supervised in the neighborhood. Custody means imprisonment or being detained in a younger offenders’ establishment.

F

Deadly accident inquiry – A court docket listening to that publicly inquires into the circumstances of sure deaths. A deadly accident inquiry should be held if the loss of life was the results of an accident at work, or occurred in authorized custody, for instance in jail or police custody. The findings of those inquiries can assist to forestall future deaths or accidents.

First calling – The primary time a case is known as in court docket.

Fiscal – See Procurator fiscal

Floating trial – A Excessive Courtroom or Sheriff & Jury case the place the date of the trial can fluctuate

Forensic proof – Scientific proof collected from a sufferer, an accused particular person, one other particular person or from against the law scene. Examples embrace fingerprints, DNA, and blood samples.

Full committal – The second look of an accused particular person in court docket in solemn proceedings. It takes place after the accused has been remanded in custody on the committal for additional examination listening to. The listening to takes place in personal. Afterwards, the court docket might grant bail or maintain the accused on remand till the trial.

G

Responsible – A verdict which means it has been proved past cheap doubt that the accused has dedicated the crime.

H

Listening to – Refers to a Courtroom Listening to.

Dwelling detention curfew – A type of early launch from jail. If assessed as appropriate by the Parole Board, it permits an offender to serve a part of their custodial sentence out on licence in the neighborhood. Offenders are normally topic to circumstances, for instance a curfew situation monitored by an digital tag.

I

Identification – When a sufferer or a witness factors out the particular person they consider dedicated the crime. This could occur throughout the investigation stage of a case or at trial when the witness provides proof.

Indictment – A doc in solemn proceedings that units out the costs the accused particular person faces.

Intestate – The time period used when somebody dies with out making a will.

J

Decide – The professional in regulation who’s answerable for all court docket proceedings within the Excessive Courtroom and ensures authorized guidelines are adopted. The Decide is answerable for sentencing an accused particular person if they’re convicted.

Jury – Members of the general public chosen at random from the electoral register to take heed to proof in a felony trial (Excessive Courtroom or Sheriff Courtroom). After listening to the information of the case, the Jury can be requested to achieve a verdict. In felony circumstances there are 15 jurors.

Juries are additionally required in civil circumstances within the Courtroom of Session. There are 12 jurors in civil circumstances.

Justice of the peace – A lay Justice of the Peace who sits within the magistrate Courtroom. Lay magistrates are native volunteers with some authorized coaching. The magistrate Courtroom offers with much less severe crimes (abstract circumstances).

L

Licence – An offender could also be launched from jail ‘on licence’ to serve the remainder of their sentence in the neighborhood. The offender should observe sure circumstances (guidelines) whereas on licence.

M

Macer – In any other case often called a Courtroom Officer – the particular person within the Excessive Courtroom who calls within the accused and any witnesses into the Courtroom. The Macer helps maintain the Courtroom so as.

N

Subsequent of kin – Nearest relative to an individual.

Not responsible – A verdict of the court docket or a jury the place the Crown has not established guilt ‘past an affordable doubt’. A verdict of acquittal.

Not confirmed – A not confirmed verdict has the identical impression for an accused as a verdict of not responsible. It’s a verdict of acquittal and means the Crown has not proved the accused’s guilt past cheap doubt.

O

Oath – A spiritual promise made by a witness or an accused to inform the reality in court docket when giving proof.

Offender – Somebody who has dedicated against the law.

P

Parole – When a long-term prisoner is launched, on licence, earlier than the top of their sentence. The offender will nonetheless be supervised by a social employee. They are often despatched again to jail in the event that they break the circumstances of their licence.

Petition – In felony circumstances, a petition is a authorized doc which units out the primary draft of fees towards an accused in solemn proceedings. It begins the formal court docket course of.

Plea – At first of a felony case, the court docket asks the accused if they’re responsible or not responsible. The reply they provide to the court docket is known as the plea.

Police bail – When an individual is in police custody accused of against the law they might be launched in the event that they signal a type often called an enterprise. Signing the shape signifies that they comply with sure circumstances imposed by the police, corresponding to not committing additional crimes. Additionally they agree to come back to court docket on a given date and time.

Put up-mortem examination – Examination of a physique to determine the reason for loss of life.

Precognition – An interview of a witness by a procurator fiscal or defence lawyer. It helps them discover out extra a couple of crime and put together for a court docket case.

Procurator fiscal – Also referred to as the PF or the Fiscal. Investigating companies, such because the police, report crimes to the procurator fiscal. The procurator fiscal then decides about what motion to take. This consists of whether or not to prosecute somebody. Fiscals are legally certified.

The Fiscal additionally offers with stories of sudden or suspicious deaths and allegations of felony conduct on the a part of law enforcement officials.

Manufacturing – An merchandise used as proof in a felony trial and proven in court docket.

Q

Queen’s Counsel, or QC – A senior and skilled lawyer.

R

Remanded – When an accused is refused bail and held in jail awaiting trial.

Distant website – A location the place a witness may give proof by video hyperlink to a court docket.

S

Scottish Youngsters’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) – The nationwide organisation for Youngsters’s Reporters. SCRA focusses on kids and younger people who find themselves most in danger. Youngsters’s Reporters make selections about the necessity to refer a toddler or younger particular person to a Youngsters’s Listening to.

Sentence – A choice by a Decide, Sheriff or magistrate on the end result of a case. The sentence is given after an accused is discovered responsible of a cost at trial or admits guilt to a cost.

Sentence low cost – The place a Sheriff or Decide applies a discount in sentence following an early plea by the accused.

Sheriff – The identify for a choose within the Sheriff Courtroom.

Sheriff and jury – Circumstances which are heard earlier than a Sheriff (choose) and Jury within the sheriff court docket. Nearly all of circumstances in Scotland are handled within the sheriff court docket.

Solicitor – A lawyer who’s a member of the Legislation Society of Scotland.

Solemn case – A severe felony case that’s heard earlier than a Decide and Jury of 15 individuals within the Excessive Courtroom, or a Sheriff and Jury of 15 individuals within the Sheriff Courtroom.

Soul and conscience letter – A medical certificates or letter from a health care provider explaining that an individual, corresponding to a witness, is just too unwell to attend court docket.

Particular measures – Alternative ways to assist assist weak witnesses when giving proof in court docket. Particular measures embrace giving proof from behind a display within the Courtroom, or by a tv hyperlink, or having a assist particular person in court docket. All kids obtain particular measures when giving proof.

Assertion – A written document or an audio recording of what a witness has mentioned to the police a couple of felony allegation.

Abstract case – Much less severe felony circumstances which are heard earlier than a Sheriff or magistrate. No jury is current.

Supervision – The native authority felony justice companies supervise prisoners launched on licence.

Assist particular person – An individual who can stick with a witness after they come to court docket.

T

Trial – The court docket listening to that establishes the information in a case by the main of proof. Proof is led by the prosecution and the defence (if the defence chooses to steer proof on behalf of the accused). A trial is heard earlier than a magistrate or a Sheriff in abstract circumstances, or a Sheriff or Decide and 15 Jurors in solemn circumstances.

U

Endeavor – When an individual is in police custody accused of against the law they might be launched in the event that they signal a type often called an enterprise. Signing the shape signifies that they comply with sure circumstances imposed by the police, corresponding to not committing additional crimes. Additionally they agree to come back to court docket on a given date and time.

V

Verdict – The choice reached on the finish of a trial by a Decide, Sheriff, magistrate or Jury – responsible, not responsible or not confirmed.

Sufferer impression assertion – In solemn process, victims of sure crimes can present the court docket with a written assertion that explains how against the law has affected them. The Decide or Sheriff will have in mind various factors, together with the sufferer impression assertion, after they sentence the offender.

W

Warrant – A doc granted by the court docket, giving law enforcement officials the authority to arrest somebody. For instance, a warrant could also be issued for the arrest of an accused particular person if they’ve did not attend court docket.

Witness Service – Individuals on the court docket who present assist and recommendation to witnesses and their households. The service is offered by Sufferer Assist Scotland.



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