Scottish Civil Justice Council publishes second Annual Report and Programme

Lord Gill

Today the Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC) published its Annual Report for 2014/15 and Annual Programme for 2015/16.

The Annual Report sets out the work of the SCJC during its second year of existence including rules made and a summary of expenditure. Key achievements include:

  • implementation of civil courts reform as proposed by the Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review and the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014
  • preparation of the court rules required for civil courts reform including:
  • increase to the privative limit; creation of a Sheriff Appeal Court; creation of a specialist personal injury court with civil jury trials; simple procedure; compulsory pre-action protocols; and, reforms to judicial review procedure

  • consideration of Sheriff Principal Taylor’s Review into Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation including preparation of rules for enforcements/sanctions
  • setting up the multi-year Rules Rewrite Project to consolidate, harmonise and simplify rules of the civil courts
  • publication of the Rules Rewrite Working Group’s Final Report which brought to a close the Group’s work on developing a ‘rules rewrite methodology’ and establishment of the Rules Rewrite Committee
  • publication of the Access to Justice Committee’s literature reviews on party litigants and alternative dispute resolution
  • The Annual Programme describes how the SCJC will continue with this work during 2015/16 including:

    • preparation of rules for the implementation of the remaining areas of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 including lay representation for non- natural persons, vexatious proceedings and all-Scotland interdicts and other orders
    • development of a framework for reviewing the suites of rules prepared under the Rules Rewrite Project and commencement of structural review for rules rewrite proper
    • preparation of the simple procedure personal injury rules
    • wider consideration of compulsory pre-action protocols
    • preparatory work for the new tribunal rules provided for in the Tribunals
    • (Scotland) Act 2014

    • implementation of the Taylor Review recommendations that can be taken
    • forward through court rules

      Lord Gill (pictured), chairman of the SCJC said: “The second Annual Report of the Scottish Civil Justice Council describes considerable progress in the implementation of civil courts reform.

      “This would not have happened without the hard work of the council and its committees.

      “I am grateful to all the members who give freely of their time and expertise to bring about improvements in access to justice in Scotland.”

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