Legal Question

Do we, in the UK, have a statute of limitations?

I don\’t think so, do we?

So if someone had, say, smoked pot, 30 years ago, they could still be prosecuted?

No, I know, they wouldn\’t be, but they could be?

13 thoughts on “Legal Question”

  1. 🙂

    My understanding is that provided they didn’t inhale, or they “just tried it once, but didn’t enjoy it”, they’re in the clear legally speaking.

    Actually if I was a billionaire I’d have a go a private prosecutions of a few politicians, in order to highlight how hypocritical they are.

  2. A more obvious candidate would be David Cameron, but no-one seems that interested.

    Tim adds: An element of truth there to be sure. However, he’s notthe one suggesting a rise in hte penalties for dope, is he?

  3. Dunno about dope but it is 3 years for Treason (Treason Act 1695) unless you actually try to or succeed in killing the monarch:

    And to the intent that the Terror and Dread of such Criminal Accusations may in some reasonable time bee removed That . . . F1 noe Person or Persons whatsoever shall bee indicted tryed or prosecuted for any such Treason as aforesaid or for Misprision of such Treason that shall bee committed or done within the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed . . . F1 unlesse the same Indictment bee found by a Grand Jury within Three Years next after the Treason or Offence done and committed .

  4. I am not a criminal specialist and have not practised law in England for 16 years but my understanding is that while there is a Limitations Act for civil claims, there is no general limitation period for criminal actions. There may be for specific crimes.

    Perhaps there should be. After all the police can’t cope with current crimes, without having to go back through the history books.

  5. You ask about the UK. IANAL but, I have been given to understand, the following is true: In Scotland the Procurator Fiscal has a year and a day to bring someone to court after they have been charged. In England there is no general limitation.

    Oh, and fun idea.

  6. Under Scots law, the Department must prepare the prosecution in the most serious custody cases under one of the strictest legal time limits in the world. The indictment, which details the charges which the accused will face, must be served on him within 80 days of the accused being fully committed in custody.

    Sheriff Court Cases: Where the proceedings are taken before a jury in the Sheriff Court, the trial must start within 110 days of full committal. A First Diet must take place not less than 10 days before the trial. That calling of the case gives the Sheriff an opportunity to ascertain the state of preparation of the parties generally, and he will only allow the matter to proceed to trial when the parties are ready.

    High Court Cases: The procedure and time limits which apply are slightly different in High Court cases. There, the next step after full committal is the preliminary hearing which must occur within 110 days from the point of full committal. This Hearing gives the judge, among other things, a chance to ascertain the state of preparation of the parties, and he will only allow the matter to proceed to trial when the parties are ready. As with the time limits in Sheriff court cases, this helps to provide a degree of certainty as to when the trial will take place and avoids witnesses turning up at court only to find that the trial has been adjourned to another date. The trial in custody cases must begin within 140 days.

  7. However, he’s notthe one suggesting a rise in hte penalties for dope, is he?

    No, but I think he intends to keep the laws applying long jail sentences for harder drugs.

  8. The real humour is that they admit to taking drugs in order to appear experienced and worldly but then want to increase the penalties for taking drugs in order to “send a clear message”.

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