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(1)The Scottish Land Court (“the Land Court”) established by section 3 of the M1Small Landholders (Scotland) Act 1911 shall continue in being.
(2)The Land Court shall consist of such persons, being not more than seven, as Her Majesty, on the recommendation of the [F1First Minister], may appoint; and one of those persons may be so appointed to be Chairman of the Court.
F2 [( 2A )Before recommending the appointment of a person as Chairman, the First Minister shall consult the Lord President of the Court of Session.]
(3)The Chairman shall be a person who at the date of his appointment is—
(a)an advocate of the Scottish Bar of not less than ten years’ standing; or
(b)without prejudice to paragraph (a) above, a sheriff principal or sheriff who has held office as such for a continuous period of not less than ten years; or
(c)a solicitor who, by virtue of section 25A (rights of audience) of the M2Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980, has for a continuous period of not less than ten years had a right of audience in the Court of Session,
and shall forthwith on his appointment have the same rank and tenure of office as if he had been appointed a judge of the Court of Session.
(4)Subsection (3)(b) above shall not confer any eligibility for appointment as chairman on a temporary sheriff principal F3. . . appointed under section 11 [F4or on a part-time sheriff appointed under section 11A (appointment of part-time sheriffs)]of the M3Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 who is not otherwise eligible for such appointment.
(5)One of the members of the Land Court shall be a person who can speak the Gaelic language.
(6)Without prejudice to any jurisdiction conferred on it by any other enactment [F5or by virtue of an Act of the Scottish Parliament], the Land Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine all matters, whether of law or fact, which arise under the M4Crofters (Scotland) Act [F61993 or] the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts 1886 to 1931 F7...M5F7... and, subject to subsection (7) below, the decision of the Land Court in any[F8such ] case shall be final.
(7)The Land Court may, if it thinks fit, and shall, on the request of any party, state a special case on any question of law arising in any proceedings pending before it under any enactment[F9, or under the Environmental Regulation (Enforcement Measures) (Scotland) Order 2015][F10, or under Part 2 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 6),][F11, or under Part 3 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 2),] for the opinion of the Inner House of the Court of Session, which is hereby authorised finally to determine that question.
[F12(7A)Subsection (7) above does not apply in respect of proceedings in connection with any matter which may be determined by the Land Court by virtue of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991 (c. 55) or the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003.]
(8)Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Land Court.
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