Justices of the Peace

Judicial and administrative duties

Aberdeen Sheriff CourtClick to enlarge image

Justices of the peace are lay magistrates who sit with a legally qualified adviser to deal with summary criminal cases. There are around 450 justices, who are drawn from all walks of life. Justices sit either alone or on a treble bench and deal with many driving offences such as speeding, careless driving, tachograph offences and driving without insurance. They also deal with less serious assault, breach of the peace, theft and other less serious crimes.  Their powers of punishment are limited to 60 days’ imprisonment or a fine of up to £2,500 or both and to disqualify drivers on a discretionary basis.

The office of Justice of the Peace dates back to 1609, originally involving administrative, policing and judicial functions. The current justice of the peace courts were created in 2007 to replace district courts, which were operated by local authorities. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is now responsible for the administration of Justice of the Peace courts, which are organised by sheriffdom rather than local authority area. Throughout their history, justices have remained lay people, dispensing criminal justice on a local basis.

Justices are appointed by Scottish Ministers for five-year periods on the recommendation of Justice of the Peace Advisory Committees.

For more information about becoming a Justice of the Peace click here.

HMA v KENNETH GEORGE MILTON

Wednesday, 15 May, 2013
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Uist imposed a two year community payback order on Kenneth Milton after he pled guilty to assaulting his wife.

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HMA v NORMAN CARLTON

Wednesday, 15 May, 2013
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Stewart sentenced Norman Carlton to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 22 years after he was found guilty of the murder of Stewart Gillespie and the attempted murder of Robert Joseph Lawther on 3 October 2012 in Paisley .

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HMA v DAVID McEWAN

Tuesday, 14 May, 2013
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Uist sentenced David McEwan to 4 years and 10 months imprisonment after he pled guilty to assault to severe injury and to the danger of life in Larbert on 23 June 2012.

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HMA v WILLIAM REAPE

Monday, 13 May, 2013
Sentencing Statements

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Uist sentenced William Reape to 4 years 8 months imprisonment after he pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine in Edinburgh in February 2013.

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HMA v GAVIN JOHN BLAIR & SEAN ROBERT BLAIR

Monday, 13 May, 2013
Sentencing Statements

At Edinburgh High Court Lord Uist sentenced Gavin John Blair and Sean Robert Blair after they pled guilty to assaulting a man in Edinburgh on 30 November 2012. Both were sentenced to 4 years 6 months imprisonment with an extension period of 2 years.

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