Scotland’s civil court system to be overhauled

Following the recommendations published in Lord Gill’s report on Scottish Civil Courts where he called for courts to be more responsive to the public’s needs and to deal with cases more swiftly and efficiently, radical plans have been announced to overhaul Scotland’s ‘antiquated’ civil courts.

The court reform consultation which is due to be published soon is expected to contain:

  • A proposal to create Scotland’s first national personal injury Sheriff Court, which will help to tackle the spiralling costs associated with PI claims.
  • Improved procedures for handling less serious criminal cases.
  • Plans to increased the threshold under which only the Sheriff Court can deal with civil cases from £5000 to £150000.

Lord Gill’s two year study of the Scotland’s civil courts system recommended a major transfer of jurisdiction from the Court of Session to the Sheriff Court to allow more cases to be dealt with at a local level, instead of at the Court of Session. This will enable the CoS to focus on the most serious and complex cases – and to speed up the whole process in both Courts.