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Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008

Section 58 - Sheriff principal’s responsibility

110.Section 61 of the 2007 Act places the responsibility for the efficient administration of justice of the peace courts in the sheriffdom on the sheriff principal. In exercising this responsibility, the sheriff principal may issue administrative directions to those involved in the administration of JP courts (other than the Scottish Ministers). The Scottish Ministers may also issue administrative directions for the purpose of ensuring the efficient administration of JP courts, subject to prior consultation with the sheriff principal.

111.Section 58 substitutes a new section 61 in the 2007 Act. This mirrors the provisions made at section 47 in respect of the responsibilities of sheriff principals for sheriff courts, as described at paragraph 96 above. New subsections (2) and (3) give sheriffs principal the power to give administrative directions to any justice of the peace, including part-time justices of the peace, within their sheriffdom and also the staff of the SCS within their sheriffdom - such directions must be complied with. Administrative directions by their nature must be in pursuance of the sheriff principal’s duty to ensure the efficient disposal of business.

112.Subsection (4) recognises the over arching role of the Lord President in respect of the efficient disposal of business across all courts in Scotland and makes the duties and responsibilities of sheriffs principal subject to that role and to the direction giving power of the Lord President at sub-section 2(3).

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