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Temporary Judges

The use of temporary judges in the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary was introduced by section 35 (3) of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990. At the time of this innovation guidance was prepared and issued by the then Lord President (Hope) as to the duties that they could perform. This guidance has been referred to in several cases including Clancy –v- Caird 2000 SC 441.

Revised guidance was issued in February 2013 by the Lord President the Rt. Hon. Lord Gill.

This guidance applies to persons appointed as temporary judges under section 35 (3) of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990. It does not apply to the re-employment of retired judges under section 22 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1985. There is no restriction as to the duties that they can perform

Temporary judges will be used only where there are, for reasons of a temporary nature, an insufficient number of permanent judges to meet the demands of business and the Lord President has approved their use.

Where a temporary judge is to be used the preference will be to allocate business to a temporary judge who is an existing judicial office holder or, as the case may be, a former judicial office holder (that is to say one not appointed under section 22 of the Act of 1985) rather than a temporary judge who is a practising member of the legal profession.

In the High Court of Justiciary, temporary judges may be allocated any kind of criminal business at first instance. Temporary judges may be used in the Appeal Court but only with the prior authority of the Lord Justice General.

In the Court of Session, temporary judges may be allocated any kind of civil business at first instance with the exception of civil jury trials and cases of particular public interest. They may not sit in the Inner House.

Click here to read the guidance issued by the Lord President The Right Hon. Lord Gill in February 2013.

Click here to view a full list of temporary judges.

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