HC Deb 08 April 1884 vol 287 c32

asked the Lord Advocate, with regard to the Skye prevarication case. If he could state whether Sheriff Substitute Speirs based his sentence on Lachlan M'Leod upon Statute Law or upon a fiction of Law; and, if upon the latter, whether he will at once introduce a measure defining the powers of the sheriffs and minor judges in dealing with and punishing those guilty of prevarication on oath or of contempt of court?


Sheriff- Substitute Speirs based his sentence neither upon Statute Law nor upon a fiction of law, but on the Common Law of Scotland. I do not see any reason for dealing separately with the case of minor Judges; but I may say that the whole matter of punishment for contempt of Court was under the consideration of the Government last year, a Bill dealing with it having been introduced into the other House. If such a measure should again be submitted to Parliament, the case of minor Judges will doubtless be provided for in it.