Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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JUSTICIARY, n. Sc. Law: the jurisdiction of a justiciar or judge, esp. in reference to the supreme criminal court of Scotland, attrib. and in phrs. (High) Court of Justiciary, now gen. abbr. to High Court, id., Lord (Commissioner) of Justiciary. Sc. 1700  Acts Gen. Assembly Index:
A Committee of Ministers, appointed to attend the Lords of Council and Justiciary anent Witchcraft.
Sc. 1721  R. Wodrow Sufferings iii. iii. s. 3:
I find James Finlay . . . pannelled before the Justiciary.
Sc. 1727  P. Walker Vindication of Mr Cameron 67:
I would rather venture my Neck before our Justiciary Lords, . . . than before Church Judicatories.
Sc. 1752  J. Louthian Form of Process 6:
The five Lords . . . are called Commissioners of Justiciary, and are invested with an equal Power and Jurisdiction in all Criminal Causes.
Sc. 1775  L. Shaw Hist. Moray 185:
I do not find that any one within this Province had an Heretable Justiciary.
Sc. 1816  Scott H. Midlothian iii.:
The Lords of Justiciary passed sentence of death against Captain John Porteous.
Sc. 1830  W. Chambers Bk. Scotland 123:
The High Court of Justiciary, instituted 1672, is the supreme criminal judicatory in Scotland. It is composed of six commisioners of justiciary, who are always at the same time judges in the Court of Session, five of whom are equal in authority, and the sixth acts as a president or chief justice, under the title of Lord Justice Clerk.
Sc. 1904  A. M. Anderson Crim. Law 227:
Before 1887 a distinction was drawn between the High Court and circuit court. The former had universal jurisdiction all over Scotland. . . . Now, all sittings of the Court of Justiciary are High Court sittings.
Sc. 1947  Scotland (Meikle) 101:
In addition to its original and privative jurisdiction in certain grave crimes such as murder, rape, and wilful fire-raising, the High Court exercises an appellate jurisdiction from the decisions and sentences of the courts of summary criminal jurisdiction. Trials before the High Court are always trials by jury.
Sc. 1957  Scotsman (23 Nov.) 5:
Originally charged with attempted murder at the Burgh Court, appeared in Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday on a reduced charge of serious assault. Trial was fixed for December 3 in the High Court.
Sc. 1958  Edb. P.O. Directory 1106:
All the Judges of the Court of Session are now Lords Commissioners of Justiciary.

[O.Sc. justiciary, the jurisdiction of a justice, 1474, the court of justiciary, 1486, Med.Lat. justiciaria, justice.]

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"Justiciary n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Mar 2018 <>



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