HC Deb 05 June 1888 vol 326 cc1177-8
MR. SINCLAIR (&c.) Falkirk,

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether it is not the common practice in Scotland to administer oaths by the method of the uplifted hand; and, whether such practice is based on any statutory enactment, or on the Common Law of Scotland, or through immemorial custom?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

It is the invariable practice in Scotland to call upon any person taking an oath to do so with his right arm uplifted, and persons of all religious beliefs are generally willing to be thus sworn. But any foreigner who, for religious reasons, might prefer to be sworn according to the form in use in his own country, or by his co-religionists, would be permitted to be so sworn. I am not aware that the Scottish form is based on any known Statute. It has come down from time immemorial.


asked, whether it was the custom in Scotland to ask a person taking the oath whether he believed it to be binding upon his conscience?


said, he had never heard of any such question being asked.