All types of judge have a range of responsibilities both in and outside of the courtroom. As a result, many regularly work in the evenings and at weekends. 

In cases heard in court, judges:

  • supervise case preparation and progress
  • control hearing proceedings
  • rule on legal challenges
  • give legal direction to a jury
  • sentence convicted offenders
  • decide rulings in appeal hearings.

In civil cases, judges may produce judgments which require considerable time outwith their court hours.

Other responsibilities can include attending meetings & conferences; delivering speeches; and undergoing or providing training.

High Court judges may also require to travel on a circuit to courts in cities across Scotland.

Among their other duties, sheriffs and summary sheriffs deal with arrest warrants; prepare reports for appeals or children’s referral; consider applications for adoptions, permanence orders & undefended divorces; and consider reports of breaches of community sentences.

Sheriffs principal have particular responsibility for overseeing the administration of court programming, and for the allocation of sheriff court judiciary.

Read more.

Regulating the Legal Professions

As head of the judges in Scotland, the Lord President has a wide range of responsibilities. One of these is to regulate the legal professions. Read more.