Judicial Training

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Background: The Judicial Studies Committee [1997-2012]
Formal judicial training has existed in Scotland since 1997, when the Judicial Studies Committee was set up in order to “promote training for the judiciary both in the Supreme Courts and in the Sheriff Court.”

In 2007, the Judicial Studies Committee took on responsibility for the delivery of the training requirements for Justices of the Peace as approved by the Lord President and now set out in the Justices of the Peace (Training and Appraisal) Scotland Order 2016. All training for JPs will follow a new set of learning objectives, set out in the National Curriculum for Justices of the Peace

The Lord President of the Court of Session became Head of the Scottish Judiciary on 1 April 2010, with the implementation of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. That legislation placed upon the Lord President responsibility for “making and maintaining appropriate arrangements for the welfare, training and guidance of judicial office holders.” This involves the making and maintaining of arrangements which are sufficient for the needs of an independent judiciary in a modern Scotland.

The Lord President delegates responsibility for judicial training to the Judicial Institute, of which he is President. The governing body of the Judicial Institute is comprised of judicial office holders from all levels of the judiciary and lay members, one from an educational background.

Members of the governing body of the Judicial Institute

The Judicial Institute [founded 2013]
The Judicial Institute for Scotland was formed on 1st January 2013 and implements the training objectives agreed by the governing body under the overall supervision of the Lord President.

The Lord President has agreed the terms of the Judicial Institute Governance Framework, which came into effect on 29 June 2018.

The Hon Lady Stacey is the Chair of the governing body of the Judicial Institute, and The Hon Lord Armstrong is Vice-Chair. Operational responsibility for the delivery of training rests with the Director of the Judicial Institute Sheriff Alistair JM Duff, Deputy Director Sheriff Susan A Craig and Head of Education Collette Paterson.

The Judicial Institute is based in Parliament House and virtually all training and education takes place in a modern learning suite. The guiding philosophy of the Judicial Institute is that judicial training is judge-led, judge-devised and judge-delivered. 

Training covers a variety of relevant, topical courses on specific subjects, including topics such as sentencing, criminal law, family law and private law.

Emphasis is also placed on bench-specific skills, including court and case management. The Judicial Institute has developed specific training modules in relation to domestic abuse; diversity awareness; equal treatment; and judicial ethics in public life.

The Judicial Institute will continue the outreach work commenced and developed by the Judicial Studies Committee in order that the Scottish judiciary have access to modern, relevant, practical training and education.

The Judicial Institute plays an active role in the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) and has formed a judicial training partnership with the National Judicial Institute based in Ottawa, Canada. These associations enable the Scottish Judiciary to have access to extensive resources, and training exchanges on an international level. The Judicial Institute also provides a contact point with government and other interested parties.

The Judicial Institute prepares and publishes a variety of papers on new legislation and complex areas of law, as well as producing training materials to support the training events.

Judicial Institute Publications - Annual Reports and Equal Treatment Bench Book

Links to information on other national and international judicial training bodies  

Contact the Judicial Institute for Scotland:

Judicial Institute for Scotland
Parliament House
11 Parliament Square
Edinburgh EH1 1RQ

Telephone: +44 (0)131 240 6930

Email:  judicialinstitute@scotcourts.gov.uk

Fatal Accident Inquiry - Rosepark Nursing Home

Wednesday, 20 April, 2011
Fatal Accident Inquiries

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Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Danielle Welsh

Friday, 4 February, 2011
Fatal Accident Inquiries

A Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Danielle Welsh at the Southern General Hospital on the 24 June 2008 concluded that she died from liver failure due to an overdose of paracetamol.

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Fatal Accident Inquiry Rosepark Nursing Home

Thursday, 20 January, 2011
Fatal Accident Inquiries

The oral hearing on submissions in respect of the Rosepark Fatal Accident Inquiry will take place 10.00 am in Hamilton Sheriff Court on 17 February 2011 (not 27 January 2011 as previously intimated).

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Fatal Accident Inquiry Rosepark Nursing Home

Thursday, 12 August, 2010
Fatal Accident Inquiries

At the conclusion of the inquiry Sheriff Principal Brian Lockhart issued the following statement.

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Thursday, 30 July, 2009
Fatal Accident Inquiries

30 July 2009 A Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Danielle Scott has found that she died from acute methadone and alcohol poisoning.

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Message from the Lord President


Welcome to the judicial website. We hope that you find this website both helpful and informative. It is our intention to publish as much information as we can, as quickly as we can. We believe it is vital in a democracy that justice is not only seen to be done, but that it operates in an open and transparent way and contributes to public understanding and awareness of what takes place in courts each day across Scotland.

Lord President

HMA v David Neill

Friday, 28 February, 2020
Sentencing Statement

At the High Court in Glasgow today (28 February 2020) Judge Hughes QC sentenced David Neill to 7 years imprisonment after he was convicted of charges of indecent assault.

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Metal-on-metal hip replacement action fails

Tuesday, 26 November, 2019
Court Opinion

A 64-year-old former forestry worker has lost his action for damages at the Court of Session against two companies which manufactured the components used in his hip replacements 10 years ago.

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