New Judgment: Martin v HM Advocate; Miller v HM Advocate  UKSC 10
03 Wednesday Mar 2010
The appellants appealed against the decision that the increase in the sentencing power of Sheriffs sitting summarily by the amending provisions of the Criminal Proceedings etc (Reform) Act 2007, s 45, was within the Scottish Parliament’s legislative competence.
Appeal dismissed by a 3-2 majority (Lords Rodger and Kerr dissenting). The provision in question was within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. Applying rules laid down in the Scotland Act 1998, s 29 and Sch 4, Pt 1, the majority reasoned that: (1) the purpose of s 45 was to modify Scots criminal law as defined in s 126(5) of the 1998 Act; (2) that the purpose of s 45 was to make the law apply consistently to reserved matters and otherwise; and (3) the rule that s 45 modified was not special to a reserved matter. The minority argued that the rule modified by s 45 was special to a reserved matter.