I attended an excellent event hosted by the Health and Safety Lawyers Association last night. One of the discussion points was around the increasing level of fines in Scotland for health and safety offences.

Those who are familiar with health and safety prosecution will know that whilst there are Sentencing Guidelines in England and Wales for health and safety offences, those Guidelines do not apply in Scotland. However, they can be used as a useful cross check by Scottish courts and are referred to by prosecutors. An analysis of recently handed down fines by Scottish courts confirmed that fines are increasing north of the border. There is still no sign of Scottish Guidelines being published, although work to publish a general sentencing guideline for all crime is in progress.

I expect the trend to continue.


Lynn Livesey

Legal Director