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Guidelines and Policy - Page 4

Article Index


Guidelines and Policy


pdfPolicy on recovering sensitive personal records

This policy provides general guidance on the approach which should be adopted when considering the issue of recovery of sensitive personal records as part of the COPFS investigation.

pdfInformation for witnesses: Defence recovery of sensitive personal records

pdfInformation for witnesses: Defence recovery of sensitive personal records (Easy Read version)

This leaflet explains why the accused person’s solicitor is seeking to obtain all or part of your medical, social work or other personal records during a criminal case and how this information may be used.

pdfInformation for witnesses: Police prosecution recovery of sensitive personal records

This leaflet explains why the police or the prosecutor may need to obtain all or part of your medical, social work or other personal records during a criminal case and how this information may be used.

pdfInterim Joint Guidance between the Police Service of Scotland and The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service on the Investigation, Reporting and Prosecution of Offences of Forced Marriage

This guidance is Interim Joint Guidance between COPFS and the Police Service of Scotland on the investigation, reporting and prosecution of offences relating to forced marriage. It is acknowledged by COPFS and the Police Service of Scotland that there are complex issues that surround forced marriage and this guidance sets out the approach which will be taken by both organisations in investigation and prosecution of these cases and also ensures that the concerns of victims and witnesses will be considered carefully throughout the Criminal Justice Process. Prior to finalising this guidance COPFS and Police Scotland would welcome the views of those organisations or individuals who have an interest in the law and its implementation. If there is any feedback or are any suggestions regarding the Guidance then please forward them on either by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or in writing to 'Joint Guidance on Forced Marriage Consultation, Policy Division, Crown Office, 25 Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LA
pdfTransgender Policy and pdfEuro Ct HR Fact sheet on Gender identity issues

New Guidance to assist prosecutors deal with cases involving a Transgender accused generally and specifically where it is alleged a transgender accused has committed a sexual offence involving non disclosure of their birth gender. Further information on the Transgender community can be accessed at:
pdfGuidance on the approach of COPFS to reporting by businesses of bribery offences

The Crown is commited to encouraging good corporate governance and to creating a corporate culture in which bribery is not hidden. As such the Lord Advocate has approved an initiative for businesses to “self-report” bribery offences. This is a "self-reporting" guide. Updated June 2020.
pdfProsecution policy on the sexual transmission of infection

Prosecution policy for cases involving the intentional or reckless transmission of, or exposure to, sexual infection. The policy aims to provide guidance to prosecutors and to the public in general about this area of the law.
pdfReports to the Procurator Fiscal - A Guide for Specialist Reporting Agencies

The aim of this publication is to provide advice for specialist reporting agencies which will enable them to contribute effectively to achieving an outcome in reported cases which best serves the public interest.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Greening Government Policy is to ensure continuous environmental improvement by reducing the impact of our operations on the environment.
pdfProsecution Code
This Prosecution Code sets out the criteria for decision making and the range of options available to prosecutors dealing with reports of crime.
 pdfSpecialist Reporting Agencies Secure Web Site Application

Many SRAs use a secure e-mail system, allowing the transmission of Standard Prosecution Reports (SPR) and
ancillary documents over secure communication lines.
COPFS revised policy on dealing with reluctant complainers in cases of rape and other serious sexual offending

The briefing note has been put on the COPFS website in relation to the COPFS’ revised prosecution policy in relation to reluctant complainers in cases of rape and other serious sexual offending. This provides an overview of the policy and how it will be implemented, the background to and reasons for the introduction of the revised policy and our commitment to ongoing work, with criminal justice partners and others, to improve the justice response to violence against women and girls.
Victims' Right To Review -  Please be aware that from 1 July 2015, you, as a victim of crime in Scotland, have the right to a review of a decision by us not to prosecute, made on or after 1 July 2015. You should if possible apply for a review within one month of the date you are informed of our decision not to prosecute. Generally you would be told of the review decision within 20 working days.
pdfGuidance on cases involving Communications sent via Social Media

Guidance is now available to prosecutors on the approach to be taken to cases involving communications sent via social media. This categorises offences into those where, for public safety reasons, a strong presumption in favour of prosecutorial action applies and clarifies that for other communications a high threshold applies before prosecutorial action will be taken, recognising Convention rights to freedom of expression
pdfCode of Practice - Disclosure of Evidence in Criminal Proceedings

The Code of Practice provides guidance in relation to the disclosure of evidence in criminal proceedings. Police forces, prosecutors and other investigating agencies, as prescribed by regulations, must have regard to the code in carrying out their functions in relation to the investigation, reporting and prosecution of crime and sudden deaths. 
pdfCultural Awareness Guide

COPFS Cultural Awareness Guide regarding Faith and religion, Culture and Traditions, Festivals and Holy days, Communication and History. 
Guidance booklet for expert witnessess

This booklet has been created to provide guidance to expert witnesses concerning the role of an expert witness and also about their obligations in relation to disclosure.
pdfGuidance to Specialist Reporting Agencies - Disclosure of Evidence in Criminal proceedings

The Crown in Scotland is obliged to disclose all relevant and material evidence to the defence. This duty arises from Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. To ensure that the Crown can comply with its disclosure obligations, all agencies who report cases to the Crown must comply with obligations to disclose relevant and material information to the Crown. See also: Annex A - Example Schedule (Doc)
Our Commitments to Victims and Prosecution Witnesses

This booklet is for victims and prosecution witnesses, but it will also be useful for parents of child witnesses, carers of witnesses with extra needs and family members in cases involving death.