Public Prosecutors and Discretion: A Comparative Study

By Julia Fionda | Go to book overview

3 The Scottish Procurator Fiscal Service: The Reluctant Sentencers

1. INTRODUCTION

THE Scottish criminal justice system has enjoyed the advantages of a public prosecution system, with independent prosecutors working in the public interest, for a good deal longer than England and Wales. The term 'procurator fiscal' dates back to early feudal courts where it referred to the representative of the local Lord, in a court presiding over civil matters. In criminal matters, the Sheriff originally acted as prosecutor and judge, but some time later his role was separated and the term 'procurator fiscal' was used to describe the prosecutorial part of the role.1 It was the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1876 which gave prosecutors the full responsibility in law for the prosecution of all criminal offences, but Moody and Tombs ( 1982) suggest that, in practice, these functions were delegated to fiscals, by the Sheriffs, considerably earlier than this.2 Hence the office of public prosecutor has been developing gradually in Scotland over the last century, and the fiscal service which exists today presents a very different picture to that of the Crown Prosecution Service of England and Wales, set up comparatively recently in 1986.

The fiscal service is run under the overall supervision and responsibility of the Scottish Law Officers, the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor-General, working from the Crown Office in Edinburgh. The Lord Advocate also, from time to time, issues directions and circulars on particular types of criminal offences, or general guidelines. Below these two political appointees there is the Crown Agent, a senior civil servant also working from the Crown Office, who is the permanent civil service head of the fiscal service.3

The six sheriffdoms of Scotland are headed for administrative purposes

____________________
1
For a fuller explanation of the history of the role of the procurator fiscal, see R. Shiels, "Focus on the Fiscals", CPS Journal May/ June 1991.
2
See S. R. Moody and J. Tombs, Prosecution in the Public Interest ( Edinburgh, 1982), 18- 22, for a historical account of the development of the office of procurator fiscal.
3
See table I 'Organisation of the Procurator Fiscal Service' in the Crown Office's publication: The Prosecution of Crime in Scotland.

-65-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Public Prosecutors and Discretion: A Comparative Study
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 272

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.