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.

For judgment, please download: [2010] UKSC 10
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