15 Ind. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 543 (2004-2005)
Scotland's Bastard Verdict: Intermediacy and the Unique Three - Verdict System

handle is hein.journals/iicl15 and id is 551 raw text is: SCOTLAND'S BASTARD VERDICT: INTERMEDIACY
Joseph M. Barbato*
Veredictum quasi dictum veritatis; utjudicium quasi juris dictumt
In 1707, the separate kingdoms of Scotland and England reached an
accord whereby each was dissolved and the two united into the new Kingdom
of Great Britain.' After three hundred years, the Scottish Parliament has
devolved from the larger Parliament of the United Kingdom.2 Scotland' s desire
to retain sovereignty is apparent in -retrospect. For instance, one of the
important Acts of Union between both countries' parliaments in the early 1700s
was to preserve the separate identity of the Scottish legal system and
This note will consider one small but emblematic part of Scotland's legal
system, the verdict of not proven. Part Two begins with the concept of
Scotland's national identity, and follows the chronological development of the
country's three-verdict system. With this foundation, two comprehensive legal
reviews involving the not proven verdict, both of which resulted in its retention,
are discussed. Part Three examines post-millennial developments in the not
proven debate, and also compares how this uniquely Scottish verdict has made
an imprint on the American legal system. Finally, Part Four takes into account
renewed controversy in Scotland over the verdict, recognizing that the potential
costs of doing away with not proven currently outweigh possible benefits.
* J.D. candidate, May 2005. M.F.A., Purdue University, 2002. B.A., Purdue
University, 1998. The author would like to thank his wife, Hannah, for her love, support, and
forbearance throughout the law school experience. He also wishes to thank Dr. Christine Slater
for taking time to locate several sources in Scottish libraries, and the Executive Board of
Volume 14 for seeing enough potential to select this note for publication.
t A verdict is, as it were, the saying of the truth, in the same manner that a judgment is
the saying of the law (or right). BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 1699 (7th ed. 1999).
1. Michael C. Meston, Scots Law Today, in THE SCOTrISH LEGAL TRADITION 1, 2 (new
enlarged ed., Scott C. Styles ed., 1991).
2. See Scotland Act, 1998, c. 46 (Scot.), http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/1998
0046.htm (last visited Feb. 19, 2005).
3. Meston, supra note 1. While this was true, Meston points out that [lt]here was little
protection for the substance of the existing Scots law. Id. Perhaps this gave increased
importance to maintaining the institutions applying the law, such as the Court of Session (civil
court) and Court of Justiciary (criminal court), which were to remain in all time coming within
Scotland. Id.

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