Attending Court

Parliament HallClick to enlarge image

Some people, such as judges, lawyers, police officers and journalists, are usually quite familiar with the courts and court proceedings. But others might be worried at the prospect of going to court.

All courts must meet certain standards and provide appropriate facilities. For instance, witnesses for the prosecution and defence will be kept apart in separate witness areas. Also, understanding will be shown to jurors who may be apprehensive about jury service. Victims, including bereaved next of kin, will be treated with compassion and respect.

Courts vary depending on the types of cases they hear. The most serious and complex cases are heard in the Court of Session in Edinburgh and the High Court of Justiciary, which sits in cities and larger towns around Scotland. The majority of cases are dealt with in the country’s 39 Sheriff Courts. Less serious criminal matters are heard in Justice of the Peace Courts. There are differences in the procedures followed in civil and criminal court hearings. Sometimes the layout of the courtrooms is also different.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is committed to treating all court users in the same professional manner and provides additional information here.

If you want to raise or defend an action, apply for a divorce or have a query about a will there is some helpful advice available on the SCTS website, by clicking Taking Action on their home page.

 For further information on attending court as a witness, giving evidence, paying fines and jury service, please visit the mygov.scot website.

HMA v Ross Kenneth Wilkinson

Wednesday, 18 October, 2017
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Aberdeen today (18 October 2017) Lord Uist sentenced Ross Wilkinson to five years imprisonment after the accused was found guilty of rape. On sentencing Lord Uist made the following statement in court:

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HMA v Robert Letham

Tuesday, 17 October, 2017
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Glasgow today (17 October 2017) Lady Rae sentenced Robert Letham to life imprisonment (punishment part 22 years and 3 months) after the accused was found guilty of murder and a number of other offences. On sentencing Lady Rae made the following statement in court:

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PF v Zackary Ramsay Welsh

Friday, 13 October, 2017
Sentencing Statements

At the Sheriff Court in Edinburgh today Sheriff Donald Corke sentenced Zackary Welsh to six months imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to leaving a threatening and abusive voicemail message for Lucy Frazer QC MP at her constituency office. On sentencing, Sheriff Corke made the following statement in court:

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HMA v Robert Michael John Simmons

Wednesday, 11 October, 2017
Sentencing Statements

At Lerwick Sheriff Court today, 11 October 2017, Sheriff Philip Mann sentenced Robert Simmons to two years and eight months imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to domestic abuse offences.

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HMA v Kevin Power

Tuesday, 10 October, 2017
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Edinburgh today Judge Hughes sentenced Kevin Power to a total of eight years and six months imprisonment together with an extended sentence of eighteen months after he was found guilty of being involved in the supply of a controlled drug, assault, demanding money and attempted extortion. On sentencing Judge Hughes made the following statement in court:

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