Chaudhry v Procurator Fiscal, Hamilton

Criminal procedure – Right to fair trial – Conduct of sheriff – Appearance of bias. Sheriff Appeal Court: Declining to pass a bill of suspension brought by a complainer who was convicted of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards three young female employees after a trial during which, at the conclusion of her evidence, the sheriff told the first Crown witness that she had been 'very brave in giving evidence', the court rejected the contention that the sheriff's remark gave rise to an appearance of lack of impartiality standing an accused's right to a fair trial by an impartial tribunal, holding that his words did not betray his view as to the witness's credibility or reliability or the quality of her evidence.

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