Parliament Hall

Judiciary of Scotland

Welcome to the website of the judiciary in Scotland.  You will find lots of information about judges, the work they do in each of the different courts and some helpful advice if you are attending court or simply want to come in and see what happens.  

You can also find up-to-date information on the latest sentencing statements which will allow you to read what a judge has said in court on passing sentence.  We also publish summaries of opinions, fatal accident inquiry determinations and other major court decisions in Scotland.

Judicial Institute - Publications

Jury Manual 2017

Annual Report 2016

Annual Report 2015

Annual Report 2014

Annual Report 2013

Annual Report 2012

Annual Report 2011

Annual Report 2010

Annual Report 2009

Annual Report 2008

Equal Treatment Bench Book

The aim of the Equal Treatment Bench Book is to offer assistance and advice to judges who have to ensure that all who come before the courts are dealt with in an understanding and sensitive fashion regardless of their personal backgrounds. It includes advice on issues arising on sexual orientation and gender identity as these are areas which are capable of misunderstanding and misconception.  It is therefore desirable that judges should have as clear an understanding of this topic as is possible.

Apart from all of the foregoing there are other circumstances, regardless of questions of ethnicity or sexual orientation and gender identity, in which some of those who come before the courts may be at a disadvantage when compared with other court users. They may have a physical or mental disability; they may be children; they may have been the victims of, or have been associated with, domestic abuse; they may be witnesses who, for whatever reason, are apprehensive about the prospect of appearing in court; or they may have to, or may choose to, conduct court proceedings in person without the benefit of legal representation. All require to be dealt with in a sensitive and understanding manner. 

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 Bruce Penman

Friday, 23 June, 2017
Sentencing Statement

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 23 June 2017, Lord Uist made a risk assessment order in respect of David Bruce Penman after the accused was found guilty of rape and other sexual offences committed against fellow pupils at the Royal Blind School. A risk assessment report will be prepared to allow the judge to make an informed decision as to whether it is appropriate to impose an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

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RSPB v The Scottish Ministers & others

Tuesday, 16 May, 2017
Court Opinion

An appellate Division of the Court of Session has upheld appeals by the Scottish Ministers against orders by a judge at first instance that their decisions to grant consents for the construction of four offshore wind farms in the North Sea were "unlawful".

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@JudgesScotland - High Court: Risk Assessment Order made in respect of David Bruce Penman after accused was found guilty of rape

@JudgesScotland - 5 men sentenced to imprisonment for a total of 15 years, 6 months between them for concern in supply of cocaine

@JudgesScotland - Sheriff sentenced Frederick Talbot to 4 years imprisonment for 7 charges of indecently assaulting school children