The Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 brought about the long awaited overhaul of the Court system. The main highlights are:
The Court of Session will now only deal with cases which have a value of over £100,000. Cases were the value is under £100,000 must be raised in the Sheriff Court.
Summary Sheriffs have been introduced to assist with the workload of Sheriffs. They will mainly be dealing with family cases, adoptions and children’s hearings.
A Sheriff Appeal Court has been created to take over from appeals to the Sheriff Principal. The SAC can sit in any Sheriff Court in Scotland. Appeals to the Court of Session (civil) and the High Court (criminal) are still available.
Civil Jury Trials have been reintroduced after a very long absence.
The All Scotland (Sheriff Personal Injury) Court also opened its doors on 22 September 2015. New procedure rules have been created for this court streamlining procedure such as allowing for motions etc to be dealt with by email.
There are some parts of the Act which have yet to come into force such as:
‘Simple Procedure’ for actions with a value of up to £5,000. This will take over from the Small Claim and Summary Cause procedures. Lay-representation for non-natural persons. This is already allowed in England, whereby directors can represent their company in court.
By Yvonne Robertson 3/2/16
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