Scotland as a distinct jurisdiction
The United Kingdom, judicially, consists of three jurisdictions: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. There are important differences between Scots Law, English law and Northern Irish law in areas such as property law, criminal law, trust law, inheritance law, evidence law and family law while there are greater similarities in areas of national interest such as commercial law, consumer rights, taxation, employment law and health and safety regulations.
Examples of differences between the jurisdictions include the age of legal capacity (16 years old in Scotland, 18 years old in England and Wales), the use of 15-member juries for criminal trials in Scotland (compared with 12-member juries in England and Wales) who always decide by simple majority, the fact that the accused in a criminal trial does not have the right to elect between a judge or jury trial, judges and juries of criminal trials have the "third verdict" of "not proven" available to them, and the fact that equity was never a distinct branch of Scots law.
There are also differences in the terminology used between the jurisdictions. For example, in Scotland there are no Magistrates' Courts or Crown Court, but there are Justice of the Peace Courts, Sheriff Courts and the College of Justice. The Procurator Fiscal Service provides the independent public prosecution service for Scotland like the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales and the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland.