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COURT OF JUSTI-
Jurisdiction within bounds
of Circuit, except in continuous
The jurisdiction of each circuit is limited to offences committed in the counties included within the circuit, except in the case of continuous crimes, such as theft, where the crime is held to be renewed in every jurisstatutory cases diction in which the delinquent has the stolen property in his possession; and of crimes in reference to which power is specially given to try offenders at the place of apprehension, as for example, crimes committed at sea (1), or the crime of being at large before expiry of a sentence of penal servitude (2), or offences under the Fofrom one Circuit reign Enlistment Act (3). In one case of abduction of a voter, the objection was taken to the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court at Dumfries, that though the abduction originated within the jurisdiction the person was said to have been carried into Ayrshire and kept there, and that Ayr was not within the jurisdiction. It was held that whether it would have been competent to try the offence in the Ayr Circuit Court or not, the Court of the place whence the abduction took place had jurisdiction, particularly in election abductions, as they had always a special relation to the place from which the voter was abducted (4).
The jurisdiction of Sheriffs and their substitutes is Limited to their limited to offences in their counties, except as regards continuous crimes, and crimes in reference to which the Sheriff of the place of apprehension has jurisdiction by Harbours, navig- statutory enactment (5). The jurisdiction includes the navigable rivers, ports, harbours, creeks, shores, "and anchoring grounds," in and adjoining the sheriffdom, and where counties are separated by a river, or frith, or estuary, the sheriffs of the adjoining counties
able rivers, &c.
1 Acts 18 and 19 Vict. c. 91, § 21.
2 Act 5 Geo. IV. c. 84, § 22.Under this statute the offender may be tried either in the place of appre. hension or in the place from which he was ordered to be banished.-See Jas. Martin, H.C., Nov. 16th
1935; 1 Swin. 1 and Bell's Notes 105.
3 Acts 33 and 34 Vict. c. 90, § 16. 4 John Douglas, jun., and Jas. Irving, Dumfries, April 27th 1866; 5 Irv. 265 and 2 S.L. R., 181.
5 Acts 17 and 18 Vict. c. 104, § 531, and 18 and 19 Vict. c. 91,§ 21.
have a cumulative jurisdiction over the intervening JURISDICTION OF space (1).
Sheriffs can try all crimes which infer only an arbi- Nature of trary punishment, and which are not restricted by within Sheriff's statute to any other forum (2). It has never been decided whether an offence which by statute is punishable in the discretion of the judge, either by imprisonment or a higher punishment, which latter a Sheriff cannot inflict, can competently be tried in the Sheriff Court. The question was raised in a case under the Night Poaching Act, for an offence for which the punishment prescribed was seven years' transportation, or "such "other punishment as may by law be inflicted on per"sons guilty of a misdemeanour," as the Court might adjudge. The libel was found irrelevant as being "not so framed as to be competently tried before the "Sheriff" (3). It is thus an open question whether, if the demand for punishment were limited to such a sentence as the Sheriff could pronounce, the Sheriff might not try the case (4).
The jurisdiction of borough magistrates and Justices JURISDICTION OF of the Peace, at common law, is now confined to petty TRATES. cases, while there are statutes too numerous quoted enabling them to try particular offences. jurisdiction is confined to crimes committed in
1 Act 11 Geo. IV. and I Will. IV. c. 69, §§ 22, 24-Lewis v. Blair, H.C., Feb. 25th 1858; 3 Irv. 16 and 30 S.J. 508.
2 Hume ii. 60, 61. -ii. 64, 65.Alison ii. 35 36.-See Jas. Kennedy, Nov. 7th 1839; 2 Swin. 447 note, and Bell's Notes 61, where it was declared competent to try minor forgeries before the Sheriff, and Dawson v. M'Lennan, H.C., April 2d 1863; 4 Irv. 357 and 35 S.J. 515, where the same was held as to a charge of concealment by a bankrupt.-See also Byrnes and others v. Dick, and Lawton and others v. Lawson, H.C., Feb. 23,
Their Offences in their
their county, except in
1853; 1 Irv. 145 and 25 S.J. 263
4 See Alison ii: 37, 38.-It is
JURISDICTION OF boroughs or counties (1), except in the case of crimes committed at sea (2), and offences in reference to which jurisdiction is conferred upon the magistrates of the place of apprehension by statute (3).
A magistrate (4) who witnesses the commission of a crime may arrest the offender, or order arrest. If immediate complaint be made to a magistrate of a Or order arrest serious crime by others who know the fact and who the offender is, he may verbally order his arrest (5).
Constables seeing crime, or directly informed, may command assistance of bystanders.
Arrest on the spot not abro
gated by statu
as to warrants.
A constable or other officer of law who sees a person commit a felony or breach of peace, or threaten violence, may arrest him. He may do the same on direct information of eyewitnesses. In arresting he may command the assistance of the bystanders (6). These powers are not abrogated by special statutory rules, empowering justices to grant warrant to summon offenders on information on oath of a breach of the statute. The officer is still entitled to arrest offenders who are detected by him in the act (7). In cases of Breaking doors, serious crime officers may break open doors, after stating their purpose, demanding admittance, and being refused. But in mere breaches of the peace, they may not break in, except to quell a disturbance actually proceeding (8).
Citizen seeing felony may arrest.
Any citizen witnessing a felony may arrest the criminal. But he may not do so on suspicion or
1 Hume ii. 57 and cases of Clephane and Weir in note 1.
2 Acts 17 and 18 Vict. c. 104, § 531, and 18 and 19 Vict. c. 91, § 21.
3 Act 4 Geo. IV. c. 34, § 3.Clark v. M'Naught, H.C., March 9th 1846; Ark. 33.
4 The word magistrate is here used in its widest sense, as including all the higher Judges.
5 Hume ii. 75.-Alison ii. 116, 117.-Campbell 330.
6 Hume ii. 75, 76. Alison ii. 117, 118.-Campbell 330.
7 M'Vie and Lynch v. Dykes, H.C., May 28th 1855; 2 Irv. 429 and 28 S. J. 416.
8 Hume ii. 76, referring to statutes 1717, c. 8.-1528, c. 8.-1567, c. 33.-1661, c. 22.-Alison ii. 118. --Campbell 331.
may try to prevent or
information, nor may he break open doors. of mere breach of the peace, he stop it, but cannot arrest (1). By statute, power to Special statutory arrest an offender taken in the act, is conferred upon certain persons specially (2), and in some cases power is given to any person to arrest (3).
A magistrate, on information of any (4) crime, may ARREST ON grant warrant to arrest, and it would appear that a Magistrate may baron-bailie may grant warrant to apprehend and mation. detain till a higher magistrate can be informed of the
grant on infor
1 Hume ii. 76, 77.- Alison ii. 119. Alison thinks the injured party might act on information, but cites no authority.- Campbell 331.
oath not applicable to crave by
Except when required by statute (6), the warrant Petition or oath need not be preceded by a petition, or oath, or declaration of the applicant, although the magistrate may require such (7). Where a statute prescribed that Statute requiring the warrant must proceed upon sworn information, public prosecu this proviso was held not to apply to a warrant tor, granted at the instance of the Procurator-fiscal, there being a special clause giving power to the public prosecutor to prosecute, without its being said regarded him that he must give information on oath (8). The warrant should be dated, and if by a justice or justices of peace, should bear their style, quality, and county, and the place where it is given. It is also usual to state the crime. But a warrant is not necessarily void for want of such solemnities, if
2 For example, see Act 9 Geo. IV. c. 69, § 2, Act 2 and 3 Will. IV. c. 68, § 2 (Poaching).-Act 32 and 33 Vict. c. 99, § 3 (Habitual Criminals).-Act 35 and 36 Vict. c. 93, § 49 (Pawnbroking).
3 For example, see the Salmon Fisheries Acts, 9 Geo. IV. c. 39, § 11, and Act 31 and 32 Vict. c. 123, § 29, and the Coining Offences Act
24 and 25 Vict. c. 99, § 31.
4 Hume ii. 77.-Alison ii. 120.Campbell 331.
5 Hume ii. 77, referring to 20 Geo. II. c. 43.-ii. 77, case of Hay in note a.-Alison ii. 120.
Solemnities of warrant.
6 Blythe and Taylor v. Robson, H.C., June 10th 1853; 1 Irv. 235 and 25 S. J. 446 and 2 Stuart 453.
7 Hume ii. 77.-Alison ii. 121.— Campbell 331.
8 Act 6 Geo. IV. c. 129, §§ 7, 11. -Neil v. Procurator-fiscal of Stirlingshire, H.C., May 19th 1834; Bell's Notes, 120.
the magistrate's signature be appended, and the person to be arrested be designated as accurately as the circumstances admit of (1). When the arrest is on a
Warrant and oath dated, no
date to petition warrant, issued on a written petition, it has been held good, though the petition was without date, the relative oath and the warrant being dated (2). But it would probably be otherwise if the petition and the oath had no date (3). Where a warrant is from the Commission of the Peace, the signature of one Justice ordinarily suffices (4). But if a special statute require the signatures of two, a warrant by one Justice will
Warrant to bring be invalid (5). The warrant may be to bring the before granter or offender before the granter or any other magistrate of
One signature unless two required by statute.
the bounds. It may be addressed to the granter's proper officers, or to any officer named, or, if necessary, to a private citizen (6).
An officer cannot arrest beyond the bounds for which the warrant runs, unless it be endorsed by a magistrate of the bounds to which the offender has Warrants for apprehension by Sheriffs may be executed in any other county, provided they are executed by an officer of the Court from whence they Indorsation in issued, or by a messenger-at-arms (7). In cases
England or Ireland.
where the offender has left Scotland, the warrant must be endorsed by a magistrate of the place where it is proposed to apprehend (8). The bearer must, if required, make oath to the verity of the warrant. Where the offender has fled to a colony, the indorsation must be by a Judge of her Majesty's superior
where to be executed beyond bounds.
Sheriff warrants fled.
good in all counties.
Indorsation in colonies.
1 Hume ii. 78.-Alison ii. 122, 123.-Campbell 332.
2 Crawford v. Wilson and Jamesons, H.C., Nov. 19th 1838; 2 Swin. 200.
3 M'Leod v. Buchanan and Rose, H.C., Jan. 24th 1835; 13 Shaw's Session Cases 1153 and 7 S. J. 190.
4 M'Creadie v. Murray, H.C.
March 22d 1862; 4 Irv. 176 and 34
5 See case of M'Leod v. Buchanan supra.
6 Hume ii. 78.-Alison ii. 123-Campbell 332.
7 Act 1 and 2 Vict. c. 119 § 25. 8 Acts 11 and 12 Vict. c. 42 § 15, and 12 and 13 Vict. c. 69 § 15.