Royal Assent for Scottish courts reform legislation

The Lord President has welcomed new legislation which will provide Scotland with a civil justice system fit for the 21st century and announced his intention to appoint the president and vice president of a new court to be established under the reforms.

The Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, which broadly implements the recommendations of the Scottish Civil Courts Review led by Lord Gill, has received Royal Assent. 

The changes include an increase to the privative limit of the sheriff court, the creation of new judicial offices of summary sheriff and appeal sheriff, the creation of a Sheriff Appeal Court, and the establishment of a specialist personal injury court. 

The Lord President has confirmed his intention to appoint Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen as the President and Sheriff Principal Craig Scott as Vice President of the new Sheriff Appeal Court. 

Lord Gill said: “These reforms will safeguard the integrity of Scots law by creating an efficient court structure. Every case will be heard by the appropriate court. The system will be accessible and cost effective for the litigant.  

“My colleagues and I in the Review Team are particularly grateful to the Scottish Parliament for having passed into law almost all of our recommendations.” 

Lord Gill added: “The process of implementation will now begin. I intend to appoint Sheriff Principal Stephen as the President, and Sheriff Principal Scott as Vice President, when the court comes into being.” 

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is responsible for providing the staff, buildings and technology to support Scotland’s courts, the work of the independent judiciary, the courts’ Rules Councils and the Office of the Public Guardian. The Board of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is chaired by the Lord President. Visit the SCTS website www.scotcourts.gov.uk for details of daily court business including court locations, contact numbers, rules, guidance and advice for both professional users and members of the public.

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