Legislative Framework

The Commission was established in 1999 under Part XA of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.
We have the power to refer cases dealt with on indictment (High Court/Sheriff & Jury) and summary cases. We make all of our referrals directly to the High Court.

The grounds upon which we may refer a case to the High Court (Section 194C of the 1995 Act) are that we believe:

(a) that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred;
(b) that it is in the interests of justice that a reference should be made.
Once we refer a case the High Court deals with it under normal appeals procedure as set out in Part VIII and X of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. Our powers of investigation are set out at Sections 194F, 194H, 194I and 194IA of the Act. These include the power to request a precognition on oath and the power to obtain documents from any person or organisation.

We are also governed by strict non-disclosure provisions set out at Sections 194J – 194L of the Act.
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