Martin v Her Majesty’s Advocate: SC 3 Mar 2010

The claimant challenged the law extending the power of Sheriffs sitting alone to impose sentences of up to one year.
Held: The defendants’ appeal failed (Lord Rodger and Lord Kerr dissenting). The change was within the power of the Scottish Parliament and the challenge failed. The section set out to contribute to the reform of summary justice by reducing pressure on the higher courts. The jurisdiction of a Sheriff was defined by the penalties which he can impose and his powers are quintessentially matter of Scots criminal law. As a rule of Scots criminal law, it did not relate to a reserved matter within the meaning of s.29(2)(b) of the Scotland Act 1998. It was a change in procedure.
Lord Walker said that the expression ‘relates to’ in section 29(2)(b) and (3) was ‘familiar in this sort of context, indicating more than a loose or consequential connection, and the language of section 29(3), referring to a provision’s purpose and effect, reinforces that.’

Lord Hope (Deputy President), Lord Rodger, Lord Walker, Lord Brown, Lord Kerr
[2010] UKSC 10, UKSC 2009/0127, 2010 SCL 476, 2010 SLT 412, 2010 SC (UKSC) 40
Bailii, Times, SC, SC Summ, Bailii Summary
Scotland Act 1998 29(2)(b), Criminal Proceedings etc (Reform)(Scotland) Act 2007 45
CitedLogan and Another v Procurator Fiscal HCJ 2-Jul-2008
The appellant challenged sentences for driving whilst disqualified. The defendant questioned the extent of the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament under judicial scrutiny on grounds other than compliance with Convention rights. . .

Cited by:
CitedJude v Her Majesty’s Advocate SC 23-Nov-2011
The Lord Advocate appealed against three decisions as to the use to be made of interviews where the detainees had not been given access to lawyers. In each case the prosecutor now appealed after their convictions had been overturned in the light of . .
CitedImperial Tobacco Ltd v The Lord Advocate SC 12-Dec-2012
The claimant company said that the 2010 Act was outside the competence of the Scottish Parliament insofar as it severely restricted the capacity of those selling cigarettes to display them for sale. They suggested two faults. First, that the subject . .
CitedLocal Government Byelaws (Wales) Bill 2012 – Reference By The Attorney General for England and Wales SC 21-Nov-2012
Under the 1998 and 2006 Acts, the Welsh Assembly was empowered to pass legislation subject to confirmation by the English Parliament Secretary of State. The Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Bill 2012 was passed by the Assembly and purported to . .
CitedRecovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill (Reference By The Counsel General for Wales) SC 9-Feb-2015
The court was asked whether the Bill was within the competence of the Welsh Assembly. The Bill purported to impose NHS charges on those from whom asbestos related damages were recovered.
Held: The Bill fell outside the legislative competence . .
CitedThe Christian Institute and Others v The Lord Advocate SC 28-Jul-2016
(Scotland) By the 2014 Act, the Scottish Parliament had provided that each child should have a named person to monitor that child’s needs, with information about him or her shared as necessary. The Institute objected that the imposed obligation to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Constitutional, Criminal Sentencing

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.402004