Judicial Office Holders

Judges' LibraryClick to enlarge image

The senior judicial office holders in Scotland are those who sit in the supreme civil court, the Court of Session, and the supreme criminal court, the High Court of Justiciary. They are appointed as Senators of the College of Justice and deal with the most serious cases.  When sitting in the Court of Session they are know as Lords of Council and Session and when sitting in the High Court of Justiciary are known as Lords Commissioners of Justiciary. There are also some temporary judges who carry out the same work on a part-time basis.

Scotland’s sheriffs and summary sheriffs deal with the vast majority of civil and criminal cases at first instance. There are six sheriffdoms, each with its own sheriff principal. Sheriffs principal are mostly Queen’s Counsel and sheriffs are either advocates or solicitors though many are also Queen's Counsel.  All will have had considerable court experience. To assist with increasing workloads and the pressure of court business, some advocates and solicitors are appointed to sit as part-time sheriffs.

Since 2008, Justice of the Peace courts have been rolled out to replace district courts. In JP courts, lay justices of the peace sit with a legally qualified clerk, who gives advice on law and procedure. JPs deal with minor criminal matters.

Other judicial office holders include the chairman of the Scottish Land Court, which deals with cases relating to property held under crofting law or agricultural tenancies, and those presiding in Scotland’s many administrative tribunals.

Click here for information on judicial salaries.

HMA v Joseph Patrick McGuire

Tuesday, 1 September, 2015
Sentencing Statements

Today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Fiona Reith QC sentenced Joseph McGuire after he pleaded guilty to having formed a fraudulent scheme in the course of his employment at the National Museum of Scotland and having obtained postage stamps with a total face value of £14,458 by fraud.

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HMA v Antoin Duffy, Martin Hughes, Pauls Sands, Craig Convery and Gordon Brown

Monday, 31 August, 2015
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Glasgow on 31 August 2015, Lady Scott sentenced Antoin Duffy, Martin Hughes and Pauls Sands after they were convicted of conspiracy to murder John Adair and Sam McCrory. Duffy and Hughes were also convicted of terrorism-related offences in furtherance of that conspiracy. She also sentenced Craig Convery and Gordon Brown after they were convicted of being involved in serious organised crime.

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HMA v Michael Duncan

Friday, 28 August, 2015
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 28 August 2015, Lord Uist sentenced Michael Duncan to five years detention after the accused was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl.

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HMA v Alan Blair Taylor

Wednesday, 26 August, 2015
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Edinburgh today Lord Brodie imposed a community payback order on Alan Blair Taylor with a requirement to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in respect of his conviction for causing the death of the late William Murray by careless or inconsiderate driving. He also disqualified Alan Taylor from driving or applying for a driving licence for five years. William Murray died on 3 October 2013 from injuries sustained in a collision between his motorcycle and that ridden by Alan Taylor on 29 September 2013 on the A83 at Strone Point near Inverary.

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HMA v John Ryan

Thursday, 20 August, 2015
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Glasgow on 20 August 2015, Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced John Ryan to seven years imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to assaulting Callum Scott to his severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life.

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