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Flashcards in The scottish Court System Deck (52)
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What does Civil Law mean?

Rights and Duties of persons, concerns disputes between persons (contract, family…)


What does Criminal Law mean?

States enforcing law on persons, prosecution of crimes and offences, conducts harmful to society. This is about punishment to acceptable behaviour.


Illustrate the Scottish Civil legal structure

-The Supreme Court
--Court of Session (Inner House / Appeals)
-- Court of Session (Outer House / First Instance)
-Sheriffs Principal
(Appeals / Small Claims /Summary Causes)
--Sheriff Court (Ordinary Cause)
--Sheriff Court (Small Claims / Summary Cause)

Note normally no Jury in Civil courts


Tell about House of Lords

The Supreme Court used to be known as House of Lords (in England), and now is in Edinburgh


Small Claims Procedure (Sheriff Court) (3)

• Actions for payment of up £3000
-Expenses £150 max (up to £1500 claim), 10% if claim exceeds £1500
-you can represent yourself


Summary Cause Procedure (Sheriff Court) (4)

-Actions between £3,000-£5,000
-No written pleadings
-Lawyer needed
-Civil cases


Ordinary Cause Procedure (Sheriff court) (6)

-Actions >£5,000
-Any actions for up to £5000, must be first raised here rather than in Sheriff principal or court of session
-Divorce, bankruptcy, succession, adoption
-Appeals to sheriff principal / court of session
-Written pleadings and lawyer needed


Tell About Sheriff Principals (4)

-6 Sheriff Principals overseeing 6 Sheriff Doms, divided into 39 districts, different areas within the country
-Court of First Instance and Appeal
-No Jury
-Exclusive / final Jurisdiction in actions


What do you handle in Sheriff courts?

Actions of debt and damages, delict and family matters. Sheriff court unless sufficient seriousness to go to the Supreme courts at first Instance. Sheriff sits alone


Changes to current monetary Tresholds

Effective from 1st January 2008
-The small Claims (Scotland) Amendment Order 2007
-The sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 - (Private Jurisdiction and Summary Cause) Order 2007


Tell About Court of Session

Highest Civil court IN Scotland, (NOTE SUPREME COURT IN LAND) covers all Scotland. Concurrent jurisdiction unless prohibited by statute.
Exclusive Jurisdiction for certain actions:
- Actions of reduction (abandonment a procedure by which a party gives up civil proceedings or an appeal)
-Actions for providing tenor of lost documents
-Petitions to wind up
-A company where share capital is more than £120,000
-International child abduction cases
-Judicial Review

Deals with delict (civil wrongs), contract, commercial cases, judicial review, family law and intellectual property.
Some Judges will have specialisations, and there are particular arrangements for commercial cases.


Court of Session: Outer House (6)

-Court of First instance
-Lord Ordinary - sits alone
-All civil claims unless excluded by statute
-In Limited range of cases (e.g. industrial accidents, defamation) - Jury 12 sits
-Appeals to Inner house
-No penalty element (Compensation element)


Court of Session: Inner House (5)

-Has 2 divisions of equal stature (value)
-1st division: Lord President & 3 Seniors of Lord of Session
-2nd division: Lord Justice-Clerk and 3 Lords of Session
-Primary an Appeal Court (Point of law)
-Court of first instance in special cases and revenue cases

(5 or more judges may hear more complex and significant cases)
Note: Appeals may go to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom


Explain Lawyer

A person who is still pursuing law /LLB. This person is not eligible to stand in the court to put the stand of his/her clients.
Lawyer is a basic term that refers to any person who has a law degree. Advocates, solicitors etc. are considered to be specialists in different fields of law.


Tell about the Supreme Court

Assumed the judicial function of the House of Lords, acts as an appeal court. Heard by 12 Justices, legally qualified members. Quorum is 3 but usually 5 or 7, decision by majority.



The minimum number of members required for a group to officially conduct business and to cast votes


Scottish Criminal Courts

-High Court of Justiciary
(appeal and trial)
-Sheriff court
-Justice of the Peace Court (highest, no appealing)


Civil Procedure

1. Admitting facts need not be proven
-No opening speeches, pursuer
---Calls witnesses and examines them, open questions to get more out of the witness
---Defence cross examines, yes or no questions
---Pursuer can re-examine
---Vice versa
2. Decision
-Closing speeches by both sides
-Judges either gives opinion or wait
-Decree grants or refuses remedy sought by pursuer
-Motions heard re-expenses


What does decree mean

An official order that has the force of law


Civil appeals

Can only appeal on a point of law, cannot appeal only because didn't like outcome.
Points of fact:
-Act, event, state of circumstance that is ascertained by senses, provided by evidence
Point of Law:
-Existence, content or applicability of a principle / rule of the legal system
-Proven by legal argument


Tell about Solemn Procedure

With Jury, Trial on Indictment
-Judge + Jury of 15 in High court
-Sheriff or Sheriff Principle + Jury of 15 in Sheriff Court


Tell about Summary Procedure

Without jury, Trial or complaint,
Sheriff or Sheriff Principle in Sheriff Court
-Justice of Peace or Stipendiary Magistrate in Justice of Peace court


Tell about Justice of Peace Court

Only summary Procedures - justice of peace don't need to be a judge, legal training and on their way of becoming a judge or a sheriff, individuals who want to do civil service.
Deals with minor criminal proceedings - breach of peace, road offences.
Jurisdiction &Administration: District courts - local council;
-60 days imprisonment (could be 6 months)


Tell about Stipendiary Magistrate

Same as Sheriff in summary sittings; a salaried British magistrate who is a professional lawyer appointed under statutory provisions to act instead of or in cooperation with unpaid lay justices of the peace.


Tell about Sheriffs court (2procedures)

Jurisdiction over all other crimes except Treason, Murder, Rape and Incest.

Summary procedure:


Tell about High Court of Justiciary

Highest criminal court in Scottish Legal system, operates as either trial or appeal basis. THE SAME JUDGES FROM THE COURT OF SESSION sit here. Judges are called 'Lord Commissioners of Justiciary. The Lord Justice - General Presides over the High court.

They go touring from Edinburgh, so public sees the justice being done.
Exclusive Jurisdiction over: Treason, Murder, Rape and Incest


Tell about High Court of Justiciary Solemn Procedure(3)

-Trials Heard by 1 judge (or 3) + Jury of 15 citizens
-Sentencing power only limited if statute has a maximum sentence
-Appeal is to the High Court of Justiciary


Tell about High Justiciary as Criminal Court of appeal

Only in Edinburgh, Heard by 3+ Judges, could be 5 or 7 depending on case. Accused appeal against sentence or conviction or other order of court.

HCJ reviews any miscarriages of Justice, especially with old cases where new evidence has come to light.


Tell about High Court of Justiciary as a Court of Appeal

Lord Advocate can appeal against sentence if too lenient, only on conviction if no jury involved.

They can:
1)Dismiss the appeal
2) Uphold the appeal ->quash the conviction or amend the verdict
3) Order a retrial


Tell about tribunals

Less adversarial, more inquisitorial. Chairs usually experts in the field or legally qualified.

E.g. Employment tribunals, employment appeal tribunals (e.g. Union rep. in), information tribunal, immigration tribunal, child support etc.

3 members, they listen to the arguments and try to decide on the outcome. THIS SPEEDS UP THE JUSTICE