Cabinet Secretary for Justice
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice referred to as the Justice Secretary, is a position in the Scottish Government Cabinet. The Cabinet Secretary has overall responsibility for order in Scotland; the Cabinet Secretary is assisted by the Minister for Community Legal Affairs. The current Cabinet Secretary for Justice is Humza Yousaf, appointed in June 2018; the position was created in 1999 as the Minister for Justice, with the advent of devolution and the institution of the Scottish Parliament, taking over some of the roles and functions of the former Scottish Office Minister of State for Home Affairs that existed prior to 1999. As with the UK Secretary of State for Justice, but unlike some other justice ministers, the Cabinet Secretary does not have any oversight of prosecutions - in Scotland these are handled by the Lord Advocate; the responsibilities of the Cabinet Secretary for Justice include: The Justice system, Criminal Law procedure, Civil law, Police and Rescue services, Legal profession, Violence reduction, Anti-sectarianism, Sentencing, Human rights, Access to justice, Community safety, Anti-social behaviour and prisoners, Female offenders, Criminal justice social work and witnesses, Reducing reoffending, Youth justice, Liquor licensing.
The following public bodies report to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice: Disclosure Scotland Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland Judicial Complaints Reviewer Parole Board for Scotland Police Investigations and Review Commissioner Risk Management Authority Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Scottish Law Commission Scottish Legal Aid Board Scottish Legal Complaints Commission Scottish Police Authority Scottish Prison Service The Cabinet Secretary for Justice is paid a total salary of £106,290, made up of £60,685 for being a MSP, an additional allowance of £45,605 for the responsibility of being a Cabinet Secretary. Politics of Scotland Scottish Government Scottish Parliament
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Court of the Lord Lyon
The Court of the Lord Lyon is a standing court of law which regulates heraldry in Scotland. The Lyon Court maintains the register of grants of arms, known as the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, as well as records of genealogies; the Lyon Court is a public body, the fees for grants of arms are paid to HM Treasury. It is headed by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, who must be qualified, as he has criminal jurisdiction in heraldic matters, the court is integrated into the Scottish legal system, including having a dedicated prosecutor, known in Scotland as a procurator fiscal, its equivalent in England and Northern Ireland, in terms of awarding arms is the College of Arms, a royal corporation and not a court of law. The High Court of Chivalry is a civil court in England and Wales with jurisdiction over cases dealing with heraldry; the Lyon Court is directly responsible for the establishment of the rights to arms and pedigree. These can include the granting and regranting of armorial bearings by Letters Patent and various Birthbrieves, such as Diplomas of Nobility or of the Chiefship.
All of these actions must begin with a formal petition to the Court. When sufficient evidence is attested to these rights, a judicial'Interlocutor' or warrant will be issued by the Lord Lyon; this power of the Lord Lyon is derived from the monarch's royal prerogatives, delegated to the office by law. The warrant will authorise the Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records to prepare Letters Patent of the particular coat of arms or genealogy to be recorded in the: Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland or in the Public Register of All Genealogies and Birthbrieves in Scotland; the fees on all of these procedures are payable to the Exchequer. This is in contrast to the College of Arms in London, an independent corporate body and not a government department, therefore all fees are reinvested into the corporation; the Court does not have universal jurisdiction and cannot accept applications from abroad. According to the Court's official publication on its website, "the governing factor in the case of an original Grant of Arms is the domicile of the petitioner or the ownership of property in Scotland."
In the second case, when the petitioner is not able to reside on the land, e.g. forestry land, the land is not able to bring the owner into the Lord Lyon’s jurisdiction. One major exception from this principle applies to Commonwealth citizens if their local jurisdiction does not have its own heraldic office. "Commonwealth citizens, in particular those of Scottish descent - save for Canada and South Africa which have their own heraldic authorities - can apply to the Lord Lyon King of Arms." The penal aspect of the Court is concerned with the protection of the rights of both private individuals and of the Crown in Scottish armorial bearings. The Lord Lyon has control over messengers-at-arms, judicial officers responsible for serving documents and enforcing legal orders throughout Scotland; the protection of the rights to arms is of signal importance because of the fact that persons and corporation have paid fees to the Crown in return for exclusive rights to use those armorial bearings. A coat of arms can only belong to one particular person at a time.
Without such protection, a coat of arms would be useless as a form of identification and worthless as a piece of private property. Furthermore, a misappropriation or unauthorised use of a man's coat of arms is still considered a'real injury' under Scottish common law. Accordingly, an owner of a Scottish coat of arms may obtain a judicial order in the Court against anybody using his arms; the Crown and the public have an interest in these cases: the Crown has such an interest because, in Scotland, all fees on the registration of armorial bearings and pedigrees are payable to HM Treasury. Individual coats of arms are considered legal evidence, which means that they could be used in legal cases concerning the establishment of succession or identity; the Lyon Court, like all Scottish courts has a public prosecutor. He raises proceedings, when necessary, against those; the punishment for this offence is set out in several Scottish statutes acts. The court has the power to fine and to ensure items bearing the offending Arms are removed, destroyed or forfeited.
In lieu of the financial interests of the Treasury, the High Court of Justiciary, will therefore sometimes regard cases brought by the Procurator Fiscal to those of the Inland Revenue prosecution. Accordingly, an armorial offender was viewed as sternly as any other evading national taxation; this is in contrast to the Court of Chivalry in England, which has similar powers to the Lyon Court, but is a civil court, has met only once in the last 230 years, in 1954, is unlikely to sit again unless for a substantial cause. The punishment for the usurpation of arms were severe. In Acts dated 1592 and 1672, the Court was given the full power to imprison offenders. In 1669 the Court was given the power to issue letters of horning; as well as the full power: to erase unwarranted arms, to'dash them furth of' stained-glass windows and to break unwarranted seals. Where the cases involve forfeiture, the Court could grant a warrant for the seizure of movable goods and gear where unwarranted arms are found; the only judge of the Lyon Court is the Lord Lyon King of Arms.
The Lord Lyon is part of the judiciary of Scotland but is not s
Scots law is the legal system of Scotland. It is a hybrid or mixed legal system containing civil law and common law elements, that traces its roots to a number of different historical sources. Together with English law and Northern Irish law, it is one of the three legal systems of the United Kingdom. Early Scots law before the 12th century consisted of the different legal traditions of the various cultural groups who inhabited the country at the time, the Gaels in most of the country, with the Britons and Anglo-Saxons in some districts south of the Forth and with the Norse in the islands and north of the River Oykel; the introduction of feudalism from the 12th century and the expansion of the Kingdom of Scotland established the modern roots of Scots law, influenced by other Anglo-Norman and continental legal traditions. Although there was some indirect Roman law influence on Scots law, the direct influence of Roman law was slight up until around the 15th century. After this time, Roman law was adopted in argument in court, in an adapted form, where there was no native Scots rule to settle a dispute.
Scots law recognises four sources of law: legislation, legal precedent, specific academic writings, custom. Legislation affecting Scotland may be passed by the Scottish Parliament, the United Kingdom Parliament, the European Union; some legislation passed by the pre-1707 Parliament of Scotland is still valid. Since the Union with England Act 1707, Scotland has shared a legislature with Wales. Scotland retained a fundamentally different legal system from that south of the border, but the Union exerted English influence upon Scots law. Since the UK joined the European Union, Scots law has been affected by European law under the Treaties of the European Union, the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights and the creation of the devolved Scottish Parliament which may pass legislation within all areas not reserved to Westminster, as detailed by the Scotland Act 1998; the United Kingdom, consists of three jurisdictions: England and Wales and Northern Ireland. There are important differences between Scots Law, English law and Northern Irish law in areas such as property law, criminal law, trust law, inheritance law, evidence law and family law while there are greater similarities in areas of national interest such as commercial law, consumer rights, employment law and health and safety regulations.
Examples of differences between the jurisdictions include the age of legal capacity, the fact that equity was never a distinct branch of Scots law. Some examples in criminal law include: The use of 15-member juries for criminal trials in Scotland who always decide by simple majority; the accused in a criminal trial does not have the right to elect between a jury trial. Judges and juries of criminal trials have the "third verdict" of "not proven" available to them. There are differences in the terminology used between the jurisdictions. For example, in Scotland there are no Magistrates' Courts or Crown Court, but there are Justice of the Peace Courts, Sheriff Courts and the College of Justice; the Procurator Fiscal Service provides the independent public prosecution service for Scotland like the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales and the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland. Scots law can be traced to its early beginnings as a number of different custom systems among Scotland's early cultures to its modern role as one of the three legal jurisdictions of the United Kingdom.
The various historic sources of Scots law, including custom, feudal law, canon law, civilian ius commune and English law have created a hybrid or mixed legal system. The nature of Scots law before the 12th century is speculative, but is to have been a mixture of different legal traditions representing the different cultures inhabiting the land at the time, including Gaelic, Welsh and Anglo-Saxon customs. There is evidence to suggest that as late as the 17th century marriage laws in the Highlands and Islands still reflected Gaelic custom, contrary to Catholic religious principles; the formation of the Kingdom of Scotland and its subjugation of the surrounding cultures, completed by the Battle of Carham, established what are the boundaries of contemporary mainland Scotland. The Outer Hebrides were added after the Battle of Largs in 1263, the Northern Isles were acquired in 1469, completing what is today the legal jurisdiction of Scotland. From the 12th century feudalism was introduced to Scotland and established feudal land tenure over many parts of the south and east, which spread northward.
As feudalism began to develop in Scotland early court systems began to develop, including early forms of Sheriff Courts. Under Robert the Bruce the importance of the Parliament of Scotland grew as he called parliaments more and its composition shifted to include more representation from the burghs and lesser landowners. In 1399 a General Council established that the King should hold a parliament at least once a year for the next three years so "that his subjects are served by the law". In 1318 a parliament at Scone enacted a code of law that drew upon older practices, but it was dominated by current events and focused on military matters and the conduct of the war of Scottish Independence. From the 14th century we have surviving examples of early Scottish legal literature, such as the Regiam Majestatem and the Quoniam Attachiamenta (on procedure
First Minister of Scotland
The First Minister of Scotland is the leader of the Scottish Government. The First Minister chairs the Scottish Cabinet and is responsible for the formulation and presentation of Scottish Government policy. Additional functions of the First Minister include promoting and representing Scotland in an official capacity, at home and abroad, responsibility for constitutional affairs, as they relate to devolution and the Scottish Government; the First Minister is a Member of the Scottish Parliament and nominated by the Scottish Parliament before being appointed by the monarch. Members of the Cabinet and junior ministers of the Scottish Government as well as the Scottish law officers, are appointed by the First Minister; as head of the Scottish Government, the First Minister is directly accountable to the Scottish Parliament for their actions and the actions of the wider government. Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party is the current First Minister of Scotland. Following a referendum in 1997, in which the Scottish electorate gave their consent, a Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government were reconvened by the Labour government of Tony Blair, having been suspended following the Acts of Union in 1707.
The process was known as devolution and was initiated to give Scotland some measure of home rule or self-governance in its domestic affairs, such as health and justice. Devolution resulted in administrative and legislative changes to the way Scotland was governed, resulted in the establishment of a post of First Minister to be head of the devolved Scottish Government; the term "First Minister" is analogous to the use of Premier to denote the heads of government in sub-national entities of Commonwealth nations, such as the provinces and territories of Canada, provinces of South Africa, states of Malaysia and the states of Australia. Prior to devolution the comparable functions of the First Minister were exercised by the Secretary of State for Scotland, who headed the Scottish Office, a department of the wider United Kingdom Government and existed from 1885 to 1999; the Secretary of State was a member of the British Cabinet and appointed by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to have responsibility for the domestic affairs of Scotland.
Since 1999, the Secretary of State has a much reduced role as a result of the transfer of responsibilities to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government. The First Minister is nominated by the Scottish Parliament from among its members at the beginning of each term, by means of an exhaustive ballot, they are formally appointed by the monarch. In theory, any member of the Scottish Parliament can be nominated for First Minister. However, the government must maintain the confidence of the Scottish Parliament to in order to gain supply. For this reason, the First Minister is always the leader of the largest party, or the leader of the senior partner in any majority coalition. There is no term of office for a First Minister. In practice, they hold office as long. Whenever the office of First Minister falls vacant, the Sovereign is responsible for appointing the new incumbent. Given the additional member system used to elect its members, it is difficult for a single party to gain an overall majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament.
The SNP gained an overall majority of seats in the 2011 election, thus had enough numbers to vote in its leader, Alex Salmond, as First Minister for a second term. After the election of the Scottish Parliament, a First Minister must be nominated within a period of 28 days. Under the terms of the Scotland Act, if the Parliament fails to nominate a First Minister, within this time frame, it will be dissolved and a fresh election held. If an incumbent First Minister is defeated in a general election, they do not vacate office; the First Minister only leaves office. After accepting office, the First Minister takes the Official Oath, as set out in the Promissory Oaths Act 1868; the oath is tendered by the Lord President of the Court of Session at a sitting of the Court in Parliament House in Edinburgh. The oath is: I, do swear that I will well and serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in the office of First Minister, So help me God; the period in office of a First Minister is not linked to the term of Members of the Scottish Parliament.
The Scotland Act set out a four-year maximum term for each session of Parliament. The Act specifies than an election to the Scottish Parliament will be held on the first Thursday in May, every four years, starting from 1999. Parliament can be dissolved and an extraordinary general election held, before the expiration of the four-year term, but only if two-thirds of elected MSPs vote for such action in a resolution of the Scottish Parliament. If a simple majority of MSPs voted a no-confidence motion in the First Minister/Government, that would trigger a 28-day period for the nomination of a replacement; the First Minister, once appointed continues in office as the head of the devolved Scottish Government until either they resign, is dismissed or dies in office. Resignation can be triggered off by the passage of
Scottish Legal Aid Board
The Scottish Legal Aid Board is an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, responsible for managing legal aid. It was established in April 1987, under the Legal Aid Act 1986, taking over functions exercised by the Law Society. In 2006 it had an annual budget of £164 million. Providing free legal assistance in Scotland is based on the Poor’s Roll of 1424: “and gif there bee onie pure creature, for faulte of cunning, or expenses, that cannot, nor may not follow his cause, the King for the love of GOD, sall ordain the judge to purwey and get a leill and a wise Advocate, to follow sik pure creatures causes” This was reinforced by a 1587 Act of the Scots Parliament: “quhatsumever lieges of this Realme accused of treason, or for quatsumever crime… full libertie to provide himselfe of Advocates and Praeloquutoures, in competent numbers to defend his life and land, against quhatsumever accusation”. Scottish public bodies Official website The history of legal aid in Scotland
Lord Lyon King of Arms
The Right Honourable the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the head of Lyon Court, is the most junior of the Great Officers of State in Scotland and is the Scottish official with responsibility for regulating heraldry in that country, issuing new grants of arms, serving as the judge of the Court of the Lord Lyon, the oldest heraldic court in the world, still in daily operation. The historic title of the post was the High Sennachie, he was given the title of Lord Lyon from the lion in the coat of arms of Scotland; the post was in the early nineteenth century held by an important nobleman, the Earl of Kinnoull, whose functions were in practice carried out by the Lyon-Depute. The practice of appointing Lyon-Deputes, ceased in 1866; the Lord Lyon is responsible for overseeing state ceremonial in Scotland, for the granting of new arms to persons or organisations, for confirming proven pedigrees and claims to existing arms as well as recognising clan chiefs after due diligence. He registers and records new clan tartans, upon request from the clan chief.
The Lyon Register, on which the Lord Lyon records all Scotland's coats of arms, dates from 1672. As Lyon Court is a government department, fees paid for granting coats of arms are paid to the Treasury; the misuse of arms is a criminal offence in Scotland, treated as tax evasion. Prosecutions are brought before Lord Lyon being the sole judge. Appeals from the Lyon Court can be made to the Court of Session in Edinburgh. There is no appeal if the Lord Lyon refuses to grant a coat of arms, as this is not a judicial function, but an exercise of his ministerial function, although an appeal by way of judicial review may succeed if it can be shown that the Lord Lyon acted unreasonably; the Lord Lyon has several English equivalents: Being responsible for Scottish state ceremonies he parallels the Earl Marshal in England. The Lord Lyon is the heraldic authority for Scotland, much as the English Kings of Arms are responsible for granting arms in England. England has three "Kings of Arms", or high heraldic officers: the Garter Principal, the Clarenceux, the Norroy and Ulster.
Unlike the English Kings of Arms, who cannot grant arms without a warrant from the Earl Marshal, Lyon does not need permission, but grants by his own power. Whilst in England the Court of Chivalry is a civil court, in Scotland the Lyon Court meets and has criminal jurisdiction. Lord Lyon is empowered to have assumed coats of arms, whatever they are affixed to, destroyed; as an example, when Leith Town Hall, now used as a police station, was renovated during the 1990s, several of the coats of arms decorating the Council Chamber were found to be attributed to the wrong person. The police were given special permission to retain the display, on condition that the tourist guides pointed out the historical anomalies; the Lord Lyon is one of the few individuals in Scotland permitted to fly the "Lion Rampant", the Royal Banner of Scotland. A new collar of state was made in 1998- a chain with 40 gold links, replacing the item that went missing after the Battle of Culloden. In 2003 a new crown was made for the Lord Lyon, modelled on the Scottish royal crown among the Honours of Scotland.
This crown has removable arches which will be removed at coronations to avoid any hint of lèse majesté. King of Arms Garter Principal King of Arms Clarenceux King of Arms Norroy and Ulster King of Arms Lyon King of Arms Act 1592 Lyon King of Arms Act 1669 Lyon King of Arms Act 1672 Lyon King of Arms Act 1867 The Superannuation Order 1979 Official website Society of Scottish armigers The Heraldry Society of Scotland's pages on the Lord Lyon The Council of Scottish Armigerous Clans & Families