There are six sheriffs principal in Scotland. Each sits as the administrative head of a different court area called a sheriffdom. Although sheriffs principal can preside over any sheriff court business, they mainly deal with appeals in summary criminal cases and sheriff court civil cases heard in the Sheriff Appeal Court.
Read about the Sheriff Appeal Court – criminal
Read about the Sheriff Appeal Court – civil
In addition to their court work, sheriffs principal are responsible for ensuring the speedy and efficient disposal of business in their sheriffdom. They also have advisory, consultative and ceremonial functions as well as some powers of appointment. One function includes serving as commissioners of the Northern Lighthouse Board.
For more information see the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland website.
Read about how sheriffs principal are appointed.
The six sheriffdoms in Scotland are:
- Glasgow & Strathkelvin
- Grampian, Highland & Islands
- Lothian & Borders
- North Strathclyde
- South Strathclyde, Dumfries & Galloway
- Tayside, Central & Fife.
View the sheriffdom map.