A commission for keeping of justice courts

Our sovereign lord and estates of parliament, considering the great abuses and delays sustained by his highness's lieges in pursuit of criminal causes before the justice and his deputes in time bygone, and being most willing to redress and amend the same so that justice hereafter may be equally administered with expedition according to reason and laws of this realm, therefore our sovereign lord and estates foresaid have given and granted, likewise by the tenor hereof gives and grants full power and commission to Alexander [Seton], earl of Dunfermline, lord chancellor, John [Erskine], earl of Mar, treasurer, Thomas [Hamilton], lord Binning, secretary, Sir William Oliphant [of Newton], advocate, Sir John Cockburn [of Ormiston], justice clerk, Master Thomas Hope and Master Thomas Nicolson, advocates, (or to any five of them jointly, the said chancellor and secretary being always two of the five) to consult, conclude and put in writing all such good order, solid laws and constitutions for proceeding and doing justice to all parties in pursuit and defence before the criminal judge and his deputes in all criminal causes, whereby good and summary justice may be done and observed to all his highness's lieges without long delays and extraordinary expenses; and decrees and declares whatsoever orders of procedure, laws and constitutions the foresaid commissioners, or any five of them as said is, shall prescribe and set down to be observed in that court, the same shall stand as a perpetual law and have the strength, force and effect of an act of parliament in all time coming, likewise and in the same manner as if the same orders, constitutions and laws had been expressly advised, set down and concluded in this present parliament.

  1. NAS, PA2/19, f.18v.