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Essays in Criminal Law in Honour of Sir Gerald Gordon$
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James Chalmers and Fiona Leverick

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640706

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640706.001.0001

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The Codification of Criminal Procedure

The Codification of Criminal Procedure

(p.305) 17 The Codification of Criminal Procedure
Essays in Criminal Law in Honour of Sir Gerald Gordon

J R Spencer

Edinburgh University Press

The fact that Scotland has a code of criminal procedure will come as a surprise not only to most English lawyers, most of whom know shamefully little about criminal law north of the Border, but perhaps to some Scottish lawyers too, because they are not accustomed to describe the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act as a code. In this they are right, to the extent that it is not a complete statement, in written form, of the rules of the whole body of Scottish criminal procedure, but only a rationalised consolidation of the various pre-existing statutes that regulated the greater part of it. This chapter discusses the various attempts that have been made to codify criminal procedure south of the Border. It is divided into three sections. The first, which sets out the broader context, briefly describes the history of criminal procedure codes in continental Europe. The second describes the unsuccessful attempts to introduce a criminal procedure code in England in the nineteenth century, and the more successful attempts to codify it in some other parts of the English-speaking world. The third tells the story, still ongoing, about the attempt to revive the idea in England in the early years of the present century.

Keywords:   Scots law, criminal law, criminal procedure codes

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