§ Mr. Dewar
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland what consultations have been held about the decision of the procurator fiscal service not to attend district courts convened on Saturday mornings by Glasgow district council; if he has authorised this change; and if he is satisfied that this withdrawal of labour is proper, in the light of the fact that the Bail (Scotland) Act makes the holding of Saturday courts optional and the power to convene such courts lies with the district council.
§ The Solicitor-General for Scotland
The senior town clerk depute of the city of Glasgow wrote on 14 March 1980 to the procurator fiscal stating that the licensing committee had determined that the district court should continue to be held on Saturdays. The licensing committee did not consult the procurator fiscal prior to making that decision.
My right hon. and noble Friend the Lord Advocate is aware of the fact that the Glasgow district court is sitting on Saturdays, but he has instructed the procurator fiscal not to bring cases before either the district or the sheriff court on Saturdays unless there is some unusual circumstances which necessitates such action. As a result of the passing of the Bail (Scotland) Act, the procurator fiscal is entitled to bring an accused before a Saturday court but there is no duty upon him to do so.
We consider that, apart from exceptional circumstances, the resources available to the procurator fiscal should not be used to present cases to courts on Saturdays, and that these resources are more properly used in the public interest by their allocation to sittings during the week.