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The judge is the legal expert who is in charge of court proceedings. In less serious cases, the judge decides whether an accused has committed a crime (this is done by a jury in more serious cases). The judge decides the sentence in all cases.

Judgment (Not judgement.) The decision of a court setting out its reasons for the decision. In the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session it is called an "Opinion". In the Sheriff Court it is called a "Note" attached to the interlocutor.

Judicial Factor Usually a solicitor or accountant appointed by the court in specific matters.

Judicial Review

This review is a way for people to challenge (in the Court of Session) decisions made by public officials or bodies. Judicial reviews are used when no other form of appeal can be used.


This refers to something that is led by judges. For example, the Sentencing Commission was led by judges with the help of other people.


The judiciary are the judges and tribunal presidents who preside over court and tribunal business. These include supreme courts judges; sheriffs principal; sheriffs; summary sheriffs; justices of the peace and tribunal presidents.


The power of a court or tribunal to hear or consider particular cases as determined by factors such as location or district, or the value or type of the case, or the residence or domicile of a person. Or the area in which a court or tribunal has authority.


The jury in Scotland is the group of people (15 in criminal cases and 12 in civil cases) randomly selected by the court to decide the verdict of a serious criminal trial or civil case based on the evidence presented in court.

Jus relictae/relicti The right of a widow/widower to one third or one half, as the case may be, of her deceased husband's/his deceased wife's personal estate.

Justice of the peace

These judges deal with the least serious criminal cases. They are not legally qualified, but sit with a legal advisor who is legally qualified and can give advice on sentencing. Justices of the peace sit only in the Justice of the Peace Court. 

Justice of the peace court

This court deals with the least serious crimes in Scotland.  

Justiciary Appeal Court The High Court of Justiciary sitting as an appellate court hearing appeals from trials heard in summary cases (cases heard on summary complaint). See also Summary procedureSummary complaint.

Justice Clerk, Lord See, Lord Justice Clerk.

Justice General, Lord See, Lord Justice General of Scotland.