Crown Counsel: From Sir Archibald Alison to Lord Brand

Robert S Shiels

in Essays in Criminal Law in Honour of Sir Gerald Gordon

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640706
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651450 | DOI:
Crown Counsel: From Sir Archibald Alison to Lord Brand

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This chapter examines the role of Crown counsel. The position of Crown counsel is pivotal in the system of public prosecution in Scotland. By whatever means the authority of Crown counsel is manifest in practice, individually or collectively they constitute the controlling mind of the system of public prosecution. In the period under consideration all Crown counsel were members of the Bar but their independence from the remaining parts of the legal system (essentially the solicitors) meant that they constituted a core executive, responsible for co-ordinating and arbitrating both prosecution policy in the general sense, decisions as to proceed to trial or not, and the actual conduct of cases in the High Court of Justiciary.

Keywords: Crown counsel; public prosecution; Scots law; prosecution policy

Chapter.  8612 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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