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Contempt of Court - What defines an end to active criminal proceedings

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  • Contempt of Court - What defines an end to active criminal proceedings

    I understand that the Act defines that criminal proceedings are concluded when:-
    1. By acquittal or, as the case may be, by sentence;
    1. By any other verdict, finding, order or decision which puts an end to the proceedings;
    2. By discontinuation or by operation of law;
    3. Where the initial steps of the proceedings are as mentioned in paragraph 4(f)-
    1. By refusal of the application;
    2. If the application is granted and within the period of 2 months mentioned in section 6(3) of the Double Jeopardy (Scotland) 2011 a new prosecution is brought, by acquittal, as the case may be, by sentence in the new prosecution.
    What is not clear is who can make the decision to conclude the proceedings. Police Scotland clearly activate the proceedings with an arrest, but does an end to their investigation conclude the actual proceedings. I suggest this as although an investigation can be concluded without charge, that does not mean there can be no charge at a later date following a review or additional information. Sexual crimes in particular are frequently reported to COPFS months or years after the investigation has been concluded, especially when the Moron Doctrine is used.

    Secondly if it is only by a courts decision or the discontinuation by Crown Office, is this only if deserted simplicter, as by any other means the accused could still be prosecuted and proceedings could still be active.

    It seems unusual that there could be a circumstances where contempt of court would cease to exist at different stages following an arrest, dependent on the subsequent actions of the police.
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