Whitehouse and Clark v HM Advocate

Solemn procedure – Time bar – Eleven and twelve-month rules. High Court of Justiciary: Refusing appeals by two appellants against a sheriff's decision to extend the 11 and 12-month time limits for commencement of a preliminary hearing and a trial by 3 months, the court held that the sheriff had erred in a number of ways in relation to the first stage of the two-stage test in HM Advocate v Swift, and the sheriff having misdirected himself matters opened up for consideration of new by the appeal court; however taking into account the gravity of the charges, the relatively short period of the extension, and the absence of any practical prejudice to the conduct of the defence by virtue of a 3-month delay, an extension was appropriate.

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