Stuurman v HM Advocate: 1980

The court was asked whether a fair trial could take place at all in the light of the pre-trial publicity.
Held: The court noted that the palliative of judicial directions can never be absolutely effective, but the judge had done what he could. Lord Justice General (Emslie) said: ‘the question for us is whether on 25 January 1980 the risk of prejudice as the result of these publications was then so grave that even the careful directions of the trial judge could not reasonably be expected to remove it. In our opinion that question falls to be answered in the negative. The publications occurred almost four months before the trial diet was called. In considering the effect of these publications at the date of trial the court was well entitled to bear in mind that the public memory of newspaper articles and news broadcasts and of their detailed contents is notoriously short and, that being so, that the residual risk of prejudice to the prospects of fair trial for the applicants could reasonably be expected to be removed by careful directions such as those which were in the event given by the trial Judge.’


Lord Justice General (Emslie)


[1980] CLY 3011, 1980 JC 111

Cited by:

AppliedMcFadyen v Annan 1992
The accused, a police officer, was subject of a complaint by the person arrested of assault. The defendant complained that the delay in bringing charges (7 months) was excessive so as to be unfair.
Held: The question should be whether the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Scotland, Criminal Practice

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.187400