Scottish Civil Law Structure and Legal Personnel

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Trade Law is another name for commercial law. It is a set of legal rules which determine the duties and rights of groups engaged in trade and commerce and oversee disputes emerging from customary exchanges of buyers and vendors (, 2019). The civil law covers cases including clashes between duties of persons, unlike criminal cases which include the concerns of the residents and the state. For civil cases, the gathering recording the case and the party against it is known as the safeguard. Courts engaged with the civil structure of Scotland are the Sheriff Appeal Court, Tribunals Services, Court of Session and UK Supreme Court (Black 2011).

Sheriff Court

Handles a large number of cases dealt with in the territory unless if they are of adequate gravity to go the Supreme Court from the outset case. Criminal cases are normally heard by a sheriff and a jury, yet it can be also heard by a sheriff alone (, 2019). It is the lowest level and the Court of the first instance is the 49 sheriff courts, sharing a range over a piece of the nation that might be identical to the local government districts known as Sheriffdom (Reid and Edwards 2009). It is regulated by a principal in charge of all its decisions, duties and actions. The six Sheriffdoms in Scotland are:

  • Glasgow and Strathkelvin
  • Grampian, Highland and Islands
  • Lothian and Borders;
  • North Strathclyde
  • South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway
  • Tayside, Central and Fife (, 2019)

There are mainly three types of proceedings conducted at the Sheriff Court:

– Small Claims: Simple and less formal cases are to be presented in small claims court. The method can be used where the estimated value of this case is up to £3000. Damage caused by personal injury is not recovered in court. (, 2019)

– Summary Cause: This method comes into action where the claim is over

£3000-£5000. There are few conditions where this method can be used regardless of whether or not the claim is above £3000 like damages resulting from personal injuries etc. (, 2019)

– Ordinary Cause: Ordinary cause is definitely not a particular procedure characterized in rule. Or maybe, it’s a standard form of procedure and strategy completed in any civil case purchased in the sheriff court which can’t be taken as a summary cause (Black, n.d.). Cases exceeding the value of £5000 are included in it.


Fatal Accident Inquiry

Under the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act, 1976. Inquiry into the circumstances into the death of Elizabeth Mcgaw

Having resumed review of the facts and representations, the Sheriff makes the following clarification to paragraph (22) of the Determination:-Deletes the terms “Following the removal of the denture she showed some improvement in her condition. She was transferred to the Care for the elderly ward and within a few days, Mr. Reeves, the consultant there felt she might be fit to be returned to Heather Bank.’ and adds the following words “Following the removal of the denture Mrs. McGaw showed some improvement in her condition and she was transferred to the Care for the Elderly Ward. Dr. Devlin did give consideration to returning Mrs. McGaw to the Care Home but quite properly deferred the final decision to Dr. Reeves, the Consultant in the Care for the Elderly Ward. Dr. Reeves concluded that she should remain in his care and should not be returned to Heather Bank.’ Sheriff W J Totten, 02 August 2012 (, 2019)

Court Of Sessions

It is the Supreme Court of Scotland. It sits in parliament house of Edinburgh and it is managed by the Lord President who is Scotland’s most senior judge. After him, the second most senior judge is the Lord Justice clerk who can apply for the lord president.

The Court has been the Supreme Court for civil cases in Scotland since 1532. (, 2019)

The cases which include getting sued for a lot of cash, a lawful decision passed by the government are the type of cases presented in the Court of Session. (, 2019)

Inner House

This section of courts deals with Statutory Appeals, Stated Cases and Appeals from Inferior Courts such as the Sheriff Court (, 2019). The Inner House is separated into 2 divisions of equivalent positions, the first division, and the second division. The first division is looked after by The Lord president and the second house is looked after by the Lord Justice Clerk individually. (Refugees, 2019)

Outer House

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The Outer House for the most part hears civil cases when they are previously presented in the court (i.e at first instance). Judges residing in the Outer House are alluded to as “Lord or Lady or as Lord ordinary. Wide ranges of cases are managed by the court including cases of hefty value of more than £100,000. (, 2019)

High Court Of Justiciary

The high court of justiciary is Scotland’s Supreme Court. It has jurisdiction over the entire Scotland and over all the illegal and criminal practices except if explicitly avoided by resolution. It exercises extensive authority to synchronize its own practice and procedures, which it does by a form of secondary legislation known as Acts of Adjournal (Black, 2015). In High Court of Justiciary a single judge hears cases with a jury of 15 people. (, 2019)

The Trial Court

The most serious and genuine misconducts are taken place in High Court of Justiciary and has a private jurisdiction over a few, for example Murder, rape, injustice, assault and serious sexual offences. The Trial court is a circuit court and may sit in different enormous towns and urban communities of Scotland. These trials are taken over by a single judge with a jury of 15 members. The most serious and complicated cases may be judged by more than one judge

The Appeal Court

It is the optimum court for criminal appeal in Scotland. The appeal court comprises of at any rate three judges when hearing appeals against conviction two when hearing sentence bids. It is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is comprised of 3 judges on an appeal, albeit more may do as such if the case is complicated and serious. (Black, 2015).


Appellant: C Mitchell; Gilfedder

Respondent: A Brown QC AD; Crown

4 February 2015 –

This is where the litigant has worked all day for his entire life. He was a pro plant enlist professional designer associated with providing the railroad framework. Lamentably his organization was dominated, and the litigant ended up repetitive. All of a sudden, from being a relentless worker, he didn’t have the foggiest idea where the following week by week installment was going to originate from. Additionally, lamentably, as is set out at passage 5 of the criminal equity social work report, he had colleagues engaged with the medication culture. That brought about his tending and creating cannabis plants, and being engaged with their stock.

The appellant has been condemned of the fabrication and hoard of cannabis at a farm nearby Forfar. The cannabis plant was valued at £100,000. In these circumstances it is not perhaps surprising that the sheriff took a stern view of the circumstances: but in our opinion, two matters arise. First, we consider that insufficient weight was given to the mitigating circumstances; and secondly, the sheriff does not indicate what the starting point would have been, even though he states that the sentence was adjusted for the cumulative effect of being a consecutive sentence following the two years, three months imposed for the Forfar conviction. Therefore, the appellant was found guilty and was sentenced to imprisonment of 2 years and 3months. (, 2019)

Justice of peace courts

Less genuine illegitimate issues are heard in Justice of the Peace Courts from the outset case. Such courts are far from the Sheriff Courts in hazy urban areas, yet there are additional JP courts in Scotland in various areas. Since 2008 to mid-2010, Justice of the Peace Courts bit by bit supplanted the previous District Courts which were worked by neighborhood specialists. JP courts deal with only inconsequential crimes (Black, 2015).

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

On October 1, 2009, The Supreme Court of UK was set up. It is the last and the final court of appeal for civil cases in the UK. It perceives instances of the best open or constitutional importance influencing the entire populace. Under the Scotland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006, it handles measures on devolution matters. The Supreme Court lies on Parliament Square’s western side in the old Middlesex Guildhall. In three ways, cases of devolution can reach the Supreme Court:

– By referring to someone who can exercise specific legal authority, such as the Attorney General, whether the matter is the object of litigation or not.

– When withdrawing from some higher courts in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

– Through a reference from some courts of appeal. (Court, 2019)

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