Complete Clarity Solicitors


Sheriff Appeal Court Appointments Confirmed

The appointments of Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen QC as the President of the new Sheriff Appeal Court and Sheriff Principal Craig Scott QC as Vice President have recently been confirmed by the Lord President.

It has also been confirmed that retired Sheriffs Principal Alastair Dunlop QC and Brian Lockhart are among those to be appointed by the Lord President to the new judicial office of Appeal Sheriff created by Court Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

The appointments are effective for a period of five years.

The Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 received Royal Assent last November and broadly implements the recommendations of the Scottish Civil Courts Review led by Lord Gill.

The changes include an increase to the privative limit of the sheriff court, the creation of new judicial offices of summary sheriff and appeal sheriff, the creation of a Sheriff Appeal Court, and the establishment of a specialist Personal Injury Court.

The Sheriff Appeal Court will be established at the start of the new legal year in September 2015, at first with jurisdiction for criminal cases and after January 2016 with jurisdiction in civil cases.

The Sheriff Appeal Court will predominantly sit in Edinburgh but sittings may also be held elsewhere in Scotland.

A number of other key reforms will also take effect at the start of the new legal year in September 2015, namely:

  • the establishment in Edinburgh of a sheriff court with a Scotland-wide jurisdiction for personal injury cases;
  • the extension of the exclusive jurisdiction of the sheriff court to actions with a value of up to £100,000;
  • and the introduction of the permission stage to judicial review proceedings.

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