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Flashcards in Crime And The Law Deck (57):

When did Scotland retain its own legal system?

After Act of Union in 1707


The Scottish Parliament laws and order issues are?

Devolved and new laws and continually being passed or considered


When did Scotland lower the drink driving limit?

December 2014


Who decides to not charge and prosecute individuals?

Crown office and Procurator Fiscal Office (COPFS)


What are the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Office responsible for?

Prosecuting criminals and investigating complaints against police


How many reports on average for COPFS handle?



The COPFS is headed by who?

Lord Advocate alongside the solicitor general


Who deals with serious high court prosecutions?

Lord Advocate


Who deals with less serious cases in High court?

Solicitors called advocates depute


What are the 3 types of courts in Scotland?

• The High Court of Justiciary
• Sheriff Courts
• Justice of the Peace Courts


What is the High court of Justiciary?

• Supreme Criminal Court in Scotland
• Deals with most serious crimes
• Presided by Lord Justice General and the Lord Justice Clerk
• Jury of 15 members of the public
• Deals with all criminal appeal cases (2-5 judges present depending on case)
• Custodial sentencing powers are unlimited
• Crimes like murder, statute dictates that life imprisonment is imposed


What is a Sheriff Court?

• Most criminal and civil cases in Scotland are self with here
• Presided by a Sheriff (experienced solicitor or advocate)
• Solemn criminal hearing procedures a jury sits
• summary criminal hearing procedures the sheriff decides whether the accused is innocent or guilty - decide appropriate sentence
• Guilty can be referred to the high court if sheriff decides crime needs more severe sentence


What is a solemn criminal hearing procedures?

Trials like murder, rape or serious assault are held in the high court of Justiciary or Sheriff court with a judge and a jury. In Scotland a jury of 15 decides on the verdict of cases and a simple majority is needed to determine the outcome of the verdict


What is a summary criminal hearing procedures?

Offences such as a breach of the peace are heard in a sheriff court or a justice of the peace court without a jury


Maximum sentence for solemn cases?

5 years imprisonment and/ or an unlimited fine


The maximum sentence for summary cases?

12 month imprisonment and/ or a fine of up to £5000 is available


What is the justice of the peace courts?

• Court where the justice of the peace is supported by a legally qualified Clerk
• Deals with less serious cases, like theft, drunk and disorderly and traffic offences
• Maximum sentence is 60 days imprisonment or a fine no more than £2500


What is the court of session?

• Scotland’s supreme civil court in Edinburgh
• Trial court and court of appeal
• high profile cases involving large companies or sizeable suns of money are heard in this court
E.g legal wrangling centring rangers football club


What is the UK Supreme Court?

• Made in 2009
• UK’s highest court and argues that it can judge Scottish appeals if accused is appealing under European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) legislation.
• Accusations that it undermining the independence and distinctiveness of the Scottish legal system

~ 2011, Nat Fraser found guilty of murdering his wife in 2003. He was sent to the High court in Edinburgh and in 2012 and was found guilty for a second time.


What does guilty mean?

They committed the offence and can lead to a wide range of sentencing options such as prison of community services


What does not guilty mean?

The accused is found innocent and cannot be prosecuted again on that charge. However a new double jeopardy (Scotland) Act 2011 allows a second trial if new evidence is found


What is Double Jeopardy?

The legal principle that prevents people being tried for the same crime twice


What does not proven mean?

It’s unique to Scotland. The accused is free to go but with the implication that they have escape conviction only because of some doubt or lack of evidence.

Jurors are confused by this verdict and the high profile trial of John Wilson in 2011 seems to support this view. The jury of 8 mean and 7 woman decided a verdict of ‘not proven’ this was despite of his previous actions that had appeared on TV. He was then found guilty with a lesser charge


What are Children’s Hearings System?

It’s the care and justice system for Scotland’s children and young people. A principle is that children who commit offences, and children who need care and protection, are dealt with in the same system- as these are often the same children.


Who are at the heart of the Children’s Hearings Systems?

Children Reporters who are based in local communities. Children and young people are referred to them for many of reasons including police, social work, education and health. They are referred as some parts of their life is a cause of concern. Reports investigate each referral if intervention is needed. If so then a children’s hearing is held.


What is the aim of the Children’s Hearings Systems?

To ensure that the best interests of the child are met and they receive the right intervention and support


What do the Children’s Hearings Systems consist of?

3 panel members who are trained volunteers from the local community. They listen to the child’s circumstances and decide the best course of action. Child might need treatment or intervention, or may be placed with foster carers, or in a residential unit or secure accommodation. They may decide that the child should remain at home with support from people like social services.


What is the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) role and purpose?

They are responsible for how the Children Hearings System operates

• Make effective decisions about a need to refer a child to a children’s hearing

• Enable children and families to participate in Hearings

• Provide suitable accommodation and facilities for Hearings


What are Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) Act 2011?

The Act created the fold of National Convener, to act as a voice for Scotland’s 2500 volunteer panel members and to ensure they are consistently supported to a high standard


Key facts on Children’s Hearings Systems

• 19,077 children were referred to the reporter in 2013/14 which is 2.1% of all the children in Scotland.
• 4664 children ages under 8 were subject to CSOs (Compulsory Supervision Orders) in 2013-14
• Children under 16 there were 11,420 CSOs
• The age that children can be charged is 12.
• 8 years old is the criminal age of responsibility in Scotland but can’t be referred to the reporter for offending


What are referrals for children split into?

• Care and protection- where the welfare of the child is causing a concern

• offence- where the child is beloved to have committed an offence


What do Child Protection Order (CPO) grant?

The child to be removed or kept in a place of safety away from home. They must be at serious risk for this to take place. This is reflecting their vulnerability and requirement for immediate protection.


What can Hearings make?

Short-term decisions to address emergency and/or high-risk situations where measures have to be put in place immediately to protect children or address their behaviour


What are the two main theories of crime?

• Biological and Psychological
• Sociological


What is the nurture explanation of crime?

• Experiences in life and how people are affected by the environment around them

E.g poor parenting or where they live


Nature explanations of crime

• Biological explanation their desire to commit an offence


Why can poverty cause Crime?

• Classed as disadvantage which can relate to education, Housing, social exclusion of low self esteem


What crimes are more likely to take place in deprived areas?



What can be said about the most deprived areas?

- They experience more crime
- Cities like Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire have the highest deprivation levels


What does the 2013 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) state

“ More property and violent crime have consistently been found in areas with higher Nevski of deprivation. Urban areas, where areas of higher deprivation tend to be, have higher rates”


What is Merton’s theory?

• That poverty contributes to crime.
- They want what others have and decided to go take a criminal path to achieve this.
- They don’t want to be a criminal but their is no other option


Sociological causes of crime

• Social - peer pressure, poor housing, lack of self esteem

• Economic - social exclusion, recession, poverty, unable to claim benefits

• Geographical - populated area, deprived area, lack of facilities

• Culture - creed, importance attached to material belongings

• Upbringing - Physical abuse, family involved in crime, lack of positive role models


Pupils from most deprived areas are more likely to have?

Additional Support needs, leave school as a NEET (not in education, employment or training) and have lower levels of attainment


2011/12 average tariff score (attainment) for most deprived 20%

268 compared with 552 for the least deprived


What do young people see crime as if they preform poor at school

A path to wealth


Why is pressure seen as a cause of crime?

- Many young people see it hard to resist
- Become involved in anti - social behaviour
- Find it hard to keep friends
- May be bullied so want to fit in
- ‘being with the wrong crowd’


What is becoming less likely in British homes?

- Stereotypical family - mother, father and 2 children in a detached or semi-fetched home


The changing in family structure has contributed to

‘Broken Britain’


What do children from poorer backgrounds experience?

- Their brains develop at different rates than children in stable environments
- Values are not passed down
E.g reading and conversations


Number of lone parents

From 2.6 million to 2.9 million

17% of all families from 16.3% in 2001


Why is alcohol linked to crime?

- Nearly half of all Scotland’s prisoners say they were under the influence of alcohol when they committed their crime
- Created dysfunctional families which children are more likely to turn to violence
- Living near 6 alcohol outlets have twice as higher crime rates than areas with 3
- 59% of violent crimes the offender had alcohol in their system
- Drinking is see as normal in Scotland


Why is drugs linked to crime

- In 2013 29% of crimes the offender was under the influence of drugs
- More likely to be crime such as theft or burglary so they can fight there habit


Why Violent games, TV and film can be linked to crime

- More likely to become violent themselves
- From age 8 tend to show higher levels of aggression at 18
- When an adult more likely to be prosecuted
- People who are aggressive tend to be drawn to violent media


What do individualists focus on?

- Personal weakness as the reason of criminal offence
- If they choose to offend they must take responsibility
- If caught must suffer consequences
- Believe that if punishments were stronger and police as courts had more proper there would be less crime


What do Collectivists focus on?

- Society is unequal and some people are at higher risk of being influenced from crime from parents or friends
- To tackle this there should be a catalyst created to stop crime
- Better Housing, improved employment opportunities and more equal society = less crime of attraction
- At work and content with life will stop the urge to commit crime


Individualist main points

Choice ⬇️

Responsibility ⬇️



Collectivists main points

Inequality ⬇️

Vulnerability ⬇️