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.

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