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Scottish courts and the law
Scottish courts and the law

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2 Case names and citations

The way in which legal cases are presented
Figure 1 The way in which legal cases are presented

Case names are written in a particular style. For example, there is a case report on Muir v Glasgow Corporation 1943 SC (HL) 3, 1944 SLT 60 (HL stands for the House of Lords, then the highest appeal court for civil matters in Scotland). The ‘v’ in the middle stands for versus, which is Latin for ‘against’. Either side of it are the names of the parties. The first name is the person or organisation bringing the case. If the case is a civil case, that person is called the pursuer and the other party is called the defendant. In a criminal case, the person bringing the case is called the Procurator Fiscal, and the other person is called the defendant. If the case is R v Smith, the ‘R’ stands for Rex (Latin for King) or Regina (Latin for Queen) and shows that the case is a criminal prosecution being brought by the Crown, that is, the state. The date refers to the year the case was reported.

Figure 2 Muir v Glasgow Corporation 1943 SC (HL) 3, 1944 SLT 60