|Criminal Court System - Scotland|
Scotland is not only a separate jurisdiction from England & Wales but it also has a different legal system.
There are three tiers of Criminal Courts:
There are no juvenile courts in Scotland.
Justice of the Peace Courts (District Courts)
A Justice of the Peace Court is a lay court where a Justice of the Peace who is not legally qualified sits with a legally qualified Clerk. The Clerk provides advice to the Justices on matters of law and procedure. The maximum sentence that a JP may impose is:
• 60 days imprisonment or a fine not exceeding £2,500
For legal purposes, Scotland is split into six regions (Sheriffdoms), each presided over by a Sheriff Principal who is in turn assisted by a number of Sheriffs.
Sheriff Court Criminal Cases may be brought under either Solemn or Summary Procedure. It is the responsibility of the Procurator Fiscal to decide which procedure should be followed for a particular case.
High Court of Justiciary
The High Court of Justiciary is Scotland's supreme Criminal Court. It has jurisdiction over the whole of Scotland, and over all crimes, unless its jurisdiction is excluded by statute. The High Court deals with the most serious crimes, and cases are presided over by a single Judge and tried by a Jury of fifteen people.