Meechan v Procurator Fiscal, Airdrie

Criminal procedure – Leave to appeal – Compatibility issue – Sift decision of Sheriff Appeal Court ('SAC') – Petition to nobile officium – Competency. High Court of Justiciary: Refusing the prayer of a petition by a petitioner who was convicted in the sheriff court of sending a grossly offensive and threatening video via a public electronic communications network, who was refused leave to appeal by the SAC at first and second sifts, and who contended that there was a legislative lacuna which required to be filled by using the nobile officium of the High Court to grant (or not grant) permission to appeal from the SAC's sift decision on a compatibility issue directly to the Supreme Court, the court held that the petition was both incompetent and irrelevant: the test for the application of the nobile officium had not been met; an appellate route from summary decisions of the sheriff already existed in statute and the petitioner's attempt to appeal had failed because he did not meet the statutory criteria; the High court had no power to grant leave to appeal from a sift decision of the SAC direct to the Supreme Court.

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