Social, political, and religious authority in scotland"s witch trials: levack favours the notion that trials were initiated at the local level of authority as witches were frequently brought forward from below". The privy council and parliamentary bodies were involved, but less frequently: larner and goodare focused on the role of the state in controlling witch-hunting. Larner the scottish state deliberately encouraged witch-hunting in order to expand its authority by declaring the witch and enemy of the state as well as god and her neighbour. Focus on the critical role played by the state and national levels of authority in the. Three different stages of a witch trial: initial accusation, local investigation, and application to the central government for a commission to hold trial. Focus on the third stage where the state determines its involvement the trial was ultimately decided by central authorities and judges.