Criminal Justice Directorate Circular No: JD/5/2008: The Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 (Commencement No. 4) Order 2008

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Criminal Justice Directorate
Criminal Procedure Division
Circular No: JD/5/2008
Distribution by email as per list at Annex A
T: 0131-244 2222 F: 0131-244 2623
E: summaryjusticereview@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

29 May 2008

Dear Sir/Madam

THE CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS ETC. (REFORM) (SCOTLAND) ACT 2007 (COMMENCEMENT NO. 4) ORDER 2008.

I am writing to draw your attention to certain provisions of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 ("the Act"), which will come into force on Monday 2 June 2008. The Act itself and its explanatory notes may be accessed at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/acts2007/20070006.htm.

A copy of the Commencement Order is attached ( PDF format) to the covering email for this circular - it can also be accessed at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2008/ssi_20080192_en_1.

PROVISIONS OF THE ACT COMING INTO FORCE ON 2 JUNE 2008:

(a) Work orders (section 51)

(b) Unification in Grampian, Highland and Islands (sections 59 and 62)

(c) Lay Justice (sections 68(4) and (5), 74, 75 and 77(2), (3) and (5))

(d) Schedule (and section 80 for the purpose of commencing paragraphs 3(a) and (c), 4, 7, 9(1) to (6), 20(3)(b), 22, 25(a) and (d), 26, 27, 30(a), 32(b) and (c), and 33(1) and (2) of the Schedule).

A brief indication of the key issues is provided on the following pages. Where new sections have been inserted into the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 ("the 1995 Act"), this has been indicated.

FURTHER ORDERS MADE IN RELATION TO THE ACT

(a) The Justice of the Peace Courts (Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands) Amendment Order 2008 was laid before Parliament on 9 May 2008 and is expected to come into effect from 2 June 2008. The Order amends the Justice of the Peace Courts (Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands) Order 2008, inserting provision for the transfer of property to the Scottish Ministers and the transfer of employment of district court staff to the employment of the Scottish Administration, in the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands on 2 June 2008. The order is available at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2008/ssi_20080179_en_1.

PROVISIONS BEING COMMENCED ON 2 JUNE

The following sections of the Act are brought into effect on 2 June 2008. Where they are commenced for a particular purpose, that purpose is specified in the Order.

Direct Measures

(a) Section 51 (Work orders), inserting new section 303ZA into the 1995 Act, creating a new direct measure allowing the procurator fiscal to offer an alleged offender a period of community-based reparatory work as an alternative to prosecution for a summary offence. These provisions are brought into force for pilot areas. The work order is being piloted in the local authority areas of Highland, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.

(b) The provisions of paragraph 3(a) and (c) of the Schedule to the Act are also commenced for the pilot areas. Those paragraphs make consequential amendments to the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.

The following provisions are fully commenced for the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands from 2 June:

JP Courts

(a) Section 59 (Establishing JP courts).

(b) Section 62 (Area and territorial jurisdiction of JP courts).

Lay Justice

(a) Subsections 68(4) and (5) (Conditions of office).

(b) Section 74 (Appointment of stipendiary magistrates).

(c) Section 75 (Stipendiary magistrates: further provision).

(d) Subsections 77(2), (3) and (5) (Records and validity of appointment etc.).

Schedule to the Act - paragraphs 4, 7, 9(1)-(6), 20(3)(b), 22, 25(a), and (d), 26, 27, 30(a), 32(b) and (c), and 33(1) and (2)

These provisions make consequential and other minor amendments to the following enactments:

  • The Education (Scotland) Act 1980
  • The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988
  • The Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995
  • The Bail, Judicial Appointments etc. (Scotland) Act 2000
  • The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003
  • The Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004.

Schedule to the Act - subparagraphs 33(1) and (2)

Provisions regarding interpretation of statutory references to district courts.

FURTHER COMMENCEMENT ORDERS

With the exception of section 51, the provisions commencing on 2 June relate to court unification. We intend to continue to commence these provisions on a sheriffdom-by-sheriffdom basis, at each stage of unification. A fifth commencement order will therefore be required to bring these provisions into effect in December for unification in the sheriffdom of Glasgow and Strathkelvin.

OTHER RECENT INSTRUMENTS UNDER THE ACT

The following related instruments have now entered into force:

(a) The Justice of the Peace Courts (Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands) Order 2008 (No. 93). The provisions of the Order enabling citation of accused persons and witnesses to JP courts took effect from 31 March 2008 allowing court business to be arranged in those courts ahead of unification in that area on 2 June 2008. The remaining provisions for the establishment of JP courts and the disestablishment of the district courts in the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands will enter into force on 2 June. The order is available at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2008/ssi_20080093_en_1.

(b) The Enforcement of Fines (Seizure and Disposal of Vehicles) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (No. 103), entered into force on 1 April 2008. The Regulations contain further details as to how the Fines Enforcement Officer ( FEO) power to seize an offender's vehicle will operate in practice. FEOs themselves were established on 10 March by virtue of section 55 of the 2007 Act. The Regulations are available at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2008/ssi_20080103_en_1 .

(c) The Enforcement of Fines (Diligence) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (No. 104), detail how the powers of Fines Enforcement Officers to execute earnings and bank account arrestments will operate. The Regulations entered into force on 1 April 2008 and are available at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2008/ssi_20080104_en_1 .

ENQUIRIES

Should you have any queries in relation to any of the above, please contact the summary justice reform branch through the details provided at the top of this circular. Further information in relation the Act and its implementation is also available on the Scottish Government's Summary Justice Reform website, available athttp://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/criminal/criminalprocedure/19008.

Yours faithfully

G Bonnar

Gerard Bonnar
Head of Summary Justice Reform Branch
Scottish Government Criminal Procedure Division