LIBEL OF ACCUSATION. A term used in Scotland to designate the instrument
which contains the charge against a person accused of a crime. Libels are of
two kinds, namely, indictments and criminal letters.
2. Every libel assumes the form of what is termed in logic, a syllogism. It is first stated that some particular kind of act is criminal; as, that "theft is a crime of a heinous nature, and severely punishable." This proposition is termed the major. It is next stated that the person accused is guilty, of the crime so named, "actor, or art and part." This, with the narrative of the manner in which, and the time when the offence was committed, is called the, minor proposition of the libel. The conclusion is that all or part of the facts being proved, or admitted by confession, the panel "ought to be punished with the pains of the law, to deter others from committing the like crime in all time coming." Burt Man. Pub. L. 300, 301.