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Section 175(3)(a) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (R011157)

Section 175(3)(a) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (R011157)

Thank you for your e-mail of 27 August 2015 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

“Section 175(3)(a) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 permits the PF to raise a stated case against a decision of the sheriff at trial to acquit on a point of law. 

Please supply statistics on the number of appeals lodged by the Crown using this section in each of the last 10 years.
Please indicate which were successful and which were unsuccessful.
Please give case references.”

I have now considered your request and can advise you of the following:

COPFS uses a live operational case management system, specifically designed to receive criminal and death reports from the police and other specialist reporting agencies and to manage the cases for investigation and prosecution purposes.  The information held on the system is structured for these operational needs, rather than for statistical reporting or research purposes.

In response to your request I have provided data from financial year 2006/07 onwards.  The reason for this is that prior to 2006 the recording of appeal procedures was not standardised and therefore any data I could provide prior to 2006 would be considered unreliable.

The table below specifies the number of appeals lodged by the Crown using Section 175(3)(a) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 each financial year since 2006; the number which were granted; and the number which were refused.  Additionally I have provided data on the number which were abandoned or withdrawn to give you the full picture.  

It is important to highlight to you that this data is based on the existence of appeal records on our electronic case management system and is provided with the caveat that due to the age of some of the cases, supporting documentation to confirm the appeal normally retained within our electronic case files have been purged.  As a result I have been unable to manually confirm the reliability of a small number of appeal records included in the total.

Number of stated case appeals lodged by the Crown under Section 175(3)(a) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

         


Result



Financial year lodged

Granted

Refused

Abandoned or withdrawn

Total

2006-07

3

2

2

7

2007-08

2

1

3

6

2008-09

0

1

3

4

2009-10

1

2

5

8

2010-11

1

0

3

4

2011-12

0

0

2

2

2012-13

1

0

4

5

2013-14

0

1

1

2

2014-15

0

1

0

1

Total

8

8

23

39



You have also requested the COPFS case reference numbers.  I consider that the COPFS case reference numbers are exempt from release under section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). This exemption applies because this information could be used to identify individual cases which would lead to identification of individuals.  This would amount to the personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.  This is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public interest test.