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Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014

Section 8 – Part-time sheriffs

29.Section 8, which governs the appointment of part-time sheriffs, restates the majority of section 11A of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 (sections 11A to 11D of which were inserted by the Bail, Judicial Appointments etc (Scotland) Act 2000). Subsection (1) provides for the Scottish Ministers to appoint individuals to “act as” sheriffs, and for individuals so appointed to be known as “part-time sheriffs”. The qualifications for appointment, set out in section 14, are the same as for sheriffs, and the Scottish Ministers may make an appointment only after consulting the Lord President (subsection (2)). In terms of subsection (3), an appointment as part-time sheriff lasts for five years, unless it ceases in accordance with section 20 (Cessation of appointment of judicial officers); but see section 9, which provides (with exceptions) for automatic re-appointment at the end of each five-year period. A part-time sheriff may exercise the powers and jurisdiction that attach to the office of sheriff in every sheriffdom (subsection (4)) and is subject to the administrative direction of the sheriff principal of the sheriffdom in which the part time sheriff is for the time being sitting (subsection (5)) (for the powers of sheriffs principal in this regard, see sections 27 and 28). Sheriffs principal are directed by subsection (6) to have regard to the desirability of ensuring that each part-time sheriff is given the opportunity of sitting for at least 20 days, and not more than 100 days, per year. Section 11A(5) of the 1971 Act, as amended by the Maximum Number of Part-Time Sheriffs (Scotland) Order 2006 (S.S.I 2006/257) imposed a limit of 80 upon the number of part-time sheriffs. Section 11A(5) is not re-enacted, and there is therefore no longer a limit on the number of part-time sheriffs.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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