HC Deb 05 July 1938 vol 338 c212W
Mr. Cassells

asked the Lord Advocate whether, in light of a recent High Court decision in Scotland in which a conviction was quashed on the ground that the full indictment had not been read at the commencement of the proceedings, he is prepared to issue instructions through the Crown Office that in all such cases in future no reference is to be made by the clerk of the court to any previous convictions libelled against the accused until a conviction has been entered and sentence is about to be given?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

The decision to which the hon. Member refers did not relate to proceedings on indictment but to a summary statutory prosecution, and the objection which was sustained did not relate to previous convictions, but to the omission of that part of the complaint which narrated the statutory penalties. The procedure as regards libelling and referring to previous convictions is already fully covered by the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act, 1887, the Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Act, 1908, and the Circuit Courts and Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act, 1925.