§ 29. Mr. Fairbairn
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland in how many cases in High Court trials were pleas negotiated between the advocate-depute and defence counsel before the start of the relevant circuit in the year to 30 September.
§ The Solicitor-General for Scotland
In the year 1 October 1983 to 30 September 1984 there were a total of 484 cases indicted for trial in the High Court. In 159–33 per cent.—of these cases, trial did not proceed and pleas of guilty were recorded at the trial diet. no record is kept of cases in which pleas were negotiated between the advocate depute and defence counsel before the start of the relevant circuit. It is therefore impossible to distinguish from the above figure those cases in which pleas of guilty resulted from prior negotiation between counsel and those cases where the plea was a result of a change of mind on the part of the accused at the trial diet.
During this period, 96 cases were dealt with in the High Court under the procedure laid down by section 102 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975. Again, it is impossible to identify which of these cases involved prior negotiation between counsel.