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Scotland Act 1998

Purpose and Effect

This section sets out the roles of the Prime Minister and the First Minister in the appointment and removal of members of the Scottish Judiciary.  It provides that the Prime Minister will continue to exercise the role of recommending the appointment by Her Majesty of the Lord President of the Court of Session and the Lord Justice Clerk but on the basis of nominations from the First Minister following consultation with the Lord President and the Lord Justice Clerk.  Other judges of the Court of Session, sheriffs and sheriffs principal are appointed by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the First Minister, after consultation with the Lord President.

This section also sets out a statutory framework for the removal of judges.  It provides that a judge of the Court of Session and the Chairman of the Scottish Land Court may be removed from office only by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the First Minister.  The First Minister may make such a recommendation only if a tribunal constituted for these purposes resolves that a judge is unfit for office by reason of inability, neglect of duty or misbehaviour and if the Parliament resolves, on a motion made by the First Minister, that a recommendation should be made.

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