Judges - when sitting in higher appeal courts - can make decisions in cases that give guidance to other judges about the appropriate sentence to use in similar types of cases. These decisions are known as guideline judgments. These judgments can made by both the High Court (when sitting as the appeal court), and by the Sheriff Appeal Court. The powers to issue these decisions can be found under sections 118(7) and 189(7) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. Section 118(7) deals with appeals against sentence in solemn (more serious) cases, while section 189(7) deals with appeals against sentence in summary (less serious) cases.
The current list of guideline judgments that have been issued under these two sections of the Act are available below. Also included is a selected list of other useful sentencing cases.