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Joint guidance on Sheriff Court practice produced to achieve greater consistency in courts


Jul 11, 2022

The Sheriffs Principal have for the first time produced joint guidance on sheriff court practice to achieve greater consistency in courts across the country.

The practice note, which addresses the management of heritable courts, is the first created with collaboration from all sheriffdoms.

Taking effect from 13 July, the new guidance applies to all summary cause actions involving the recovery of heritable property under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

Sheriff Principal Aisha Anwar, of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway, said: “This guidance will help to ensure a consistent approach to the management of cases involving the recovery of heritable property in terms of the 2001 Act.

“It will ensure greater efficiency in the courts, prevent excessive churn and allow for consistency in courts across the sheriffdoms. Whether or not to grant a continuation has always been a matter for the exercise of the sheriff’s discretion. The guidance does not change that.  What the guidance however seeks to do is to prevent the prevailing culture of repeated hearings and to encourage parties to work together to resolve matters.

“Recognising the benefits for litigants and agents, the Sheriffs Principal have worked together to produce this guidance and  this collaboration will continue where possible as we look to develop further practice notes in other areas of law.”

The new guidance can be found here.