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Scotland Act 1998


This section is one of a number of provisions which implement the White Paper proposals in relation to the judiciary and provide safeguards for their independence.  Section 23(7) exempts judges from the Scottish Parliament’s power to call witnesses or require the production of documents.  Under Section L1 of Schedule 5 the determination of senior judicial salaries and pensions are reserved matters.  This will allow pay awards to continue to be based on recommendations of the Senior Salaries Review Body.

The provisions in the present section for the removal of a judge of the Court of Session rectified the anomaly that, unlike in the rest of the UK, there were no powers to remove such a judge from office.  Powers already exist for the removal from office of sheriffs principal and sheriffs (section 12 of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971) and the relevant functions in the 1971 Act transferred to the Scottish Ministers and Scottish Parliament.  The arrangements for the removal of judges are based on the model already used for sheriffs.

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