Anyone know what the format of a 'soul and conscience letter' is ?

Posted 9th Nov 2011
My mates been called as a witness in a court case in Scotland.

He's currently recovering from treatment for cancer. He lives in Bristol and the case is being heard in Airdrie! Which is about as far away as you can get and would be a 7 hours train trip with 5 changes. There's no way he can manage that.

The court has told him his Dr needs to supply a soul and conscience letter so he doesn't have to attend and that his Dr will know what that is.
His Dr has no idea, nor can he (or I) find anything on the net about them apart from a few vague references.
The court say they can't help as it has to be from the Dr? (not sure of the logic there?).

Does anyone here have any knowledge of these and what they have to be?

Thanks. . .
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official statement from dr outlining mental/physical state of your friend
From what I briefly read on Google, it seems it's some sort of form. Is it possible, that this is only a form that is applicable to Scotland? I wonder if there is an English counterpart. Would it be worth, say, ringing the guys old doctors surgery, or if he has any family members back in Scotland, getting them to ring their doctors surgery and seeing if this is an official form that they have? Perhaps the doctors surgery could communicate with the guys doctor here in England and forward a form for his doc to complete and return?

I might be way off the mark, but it's just something to look in to

Edited by: "Hessen" 9th Nov 2011
Thanks dontasciime, there's one link there that might help.

Hessen; He's never lived in Scotland. Its a fraud case and he (and I) until a few months ago worked as fraud investigators. I get the feeling reading between the lines they think that by calling him to court their getting an expert witness without having to pay for one!

Here in Scotland, we have a unique phrase that we use in legal documents, … Here in Scotland, we have a unique phrase that we use in legal documents, called a soul and conscience letter. This is accepted in law as a statement akin to a sworn declaration.

To get excused you will need a medical certificate, certified "on soul … To get excused you will need a medical certificate, certified "on soul and conscience" by a doctor confiming that you are too ill to attend court.The certificate should (a) explain what your symtoms are and why they prevent you from attending court and (b) contain a prognosis estimating when youare likely to be fit enough to give evidence. If the symptoms are unlikely to disappear as long as the case is outstanding, it would be helpful if the doctor could indicate whether you would be fit to give evidence on commission.It should be explained to the doctor that granting a soul and conscience certificate is not like signing someone off work and that the doctor should provide it only if he or she is prepared to go to court and give evidemnce on oath that you are too ill to attend. (The fact that it is certified on soul & conscience allows the court to accept it without the doctor being sworn as a witness - but that would only happen if the certificate is thorough enough. Too any doctors nowadays grant certifcates that simply say the witness - or accused - is unwell and unable to attend court without saying why. Such certificates are routinely rejected by the courts.)You will probably have to pay for the certificate. Once you have it you should send it to the procurator fiscal, quoting the reference number of the case.

Edited by: "MadeDixonsCry" 9th Nov 2011
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