HC Deb 13 March 1917 vol 91 c910

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he proposes to introduce legislation amending the provisions of the Fatal Accidents Inquiry (Scotland) Act, 1895, so as to permit of the holding of fatal accident inquiries before the sheriff without a jury in all cases other than those in which the Lord Advocate may, in the public interest, direct that the inquiry shall take place before the sheriff and a jury?


I am aware that the effect of the War has been to increase the burden thrown upon individuals who are liable to be called away from work, which may be of national importance, for the purpose of serving upon juries in the class of case referred to by my hon. and learned Friend. I think there is a good deal to be said in favour of his suggestion that a discretion to dispense with a jury should be vested in the Lord Advocate—at any rate during the War. I shall carefully consider any expressions of opinion that may reach me for or against legislation in the sense suggested.