Scottish Justices Association

The Scottish Justices Association was formed in May 2007 and has over 400 members who are Justices of the Peace in Scotland.  Justices of the Peace have a four hundred year history and predate the creation of the High Court of Justiciary in 1672.  Though their original functions were administrative and policing as much as judicial, they were intended to be lay persons, dispensing criminal justice, on a local basis. These features have continued, through numerous changes, to the present day.

The Scottish Justices Association website provides more information about the work of Justices of the Peace in Scotland. 

Three representatives are elected from each of the six sheriffdoms in Scotland to form the Executive Committee of the Scottish Justices Association. A list of the current Office Bearers in the association can be found here.

Interested in becoming a Justice of the Peace? Find out more here.

Further Reading

All Manner of People:  the History of the Justices of the Peace in Scotland by Johan Findlay, The Saltire Society, 2000, ISBN 0 85411 076 3
This text provides the history of the justices of the peace in Scotland from their foundation in 1609 to the present. The vast range of duties which fell to the justices is described using surviving justice court records.

A day in the life of a justice of the peace

Aberdeen Sheriff Court

Read about the work of a justice of the peace during a day in court

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Attending Court


People attend court for many reasons. They may be directly involved in the case such as the lawyers, accused, witnesses, jurors or police officers or as members of the public they may wish to attend and observe proceedings. All courts are open to the public except in certain circumstances.

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