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Administration of Justice (Scotland) Act 1972

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1 Extended powers of courts to order inspection of documents and other property, etc.S

(1)Without prejudice to the existing powers of the Court of Session[F1, of the Sheriff Appeal Court] and of the sheriff court, those courts shall have power, subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section, to order the inspection, photographing, preservation, custody and detention of documents and other property (including, where appropriate, land) which appear to the court to be property as to which any question may relevantly arise in any existing civil proceedings before that court or in civil proceedings which are likely to be brought, and to order the production and recovery of any such property, the taking of samples thereof and the carrying out of any experiment thereon or therewith.

[F2(1A)Without prejudice to the existing powers of the Court of Session[F3, of the Sheriff Appeal Court] and of the sheriff court, those courts shall have power, subject to subsection (4) of this section, to order any person to disclose such information as he has as to the identity of any persons who appear to the court to be persons who—

(a)might be witnesses in any existing civil proceedings before that court or in civil proceedings which are likely to be brought; or

(b)might be defenders in any civil proceedings which appear to the court to be likely to be brought.]

(2)Notwithstanding any rule of law or practice to the contrary, the court may exercise the powers mentioned in subsection (1) [F4or (1A)] of this section—

(a)where proceedings have been commenced, on the application, at any time after such commencement, of a party to or minuter in the proceedings, or any other person who appears to the court to have an interest to be joined as such party or minuter;

(b)where proceedings have not been commenced, on the application at any time of a person who appears to the court to be likely to be a party to or minuter in proceedings which are likely to be brought;

unless there is special reason why the application should not be granted.

(3)The powers conferred on the Court of Session by [F5section 103(1) of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014] to regulate its own procedure and the powers conferred on that Court by [F6section 104(1) of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014] to regulate the procedure of the sheriff court [F7and the Sheriff Appeal Court] shall include power to regulate and prescribe the procedure to be followed, and the form of any document to be used, in any application under the foregoing provisions of this section in a case where the application is in respect of proceedings which have not been commenced, and such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear appropriate; and without prejudice to the said generality, the said powers shall include power to provide in such a case for the application to be granted ex parte, for the intimation of the application to such persons (if any) as the court thinks fit, and for the finding of caution where appropriate for any loss, damage or expenses which may be incurred as a result of the application.

(4)Nothing in this section shall affect any rule of law or practice relating to the privilege of witnesses and havers, confidentiality of communications and withholding or non-disclosure of information on the grounds of public interest; and section 47 of the M1 Crown Proceedings Act 1947 (recovery of documents in possession of the Crown) shall apply in relation to any application under this section in respect of a document or other property as it applied before the commencement of this section to an application for commission and diligence for the recovery of a document.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2S. 1 extended (temp., for a period of 12 months beginning with 22.3.1990 as mentioned in S.I. 1990/633, art. 2, unless continued) by Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 (c. 4, SIF 39:2), ss. 13(8), 27(5), Sch. 4 para. 19(5)

C3S. 1 extended (1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 43, ss. 36(4), 44, 50(2), Sch. 2 para. 2(2)

S. 1 extended (19.2.2001) by 2000 c. 11, s. 23(9), Sch. 4 para. 27(6)(b); S.I. 2001/421, art. 2

S. 1 extended (13.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3927, art. 19

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