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Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014

Re-employment of former holders of certain judicial offices
Section 12 – Re-employment of former judicial office holders

34.Section 12 substantially re-enacts section 14A of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971, as inserted by the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. That section provided for the re-appointment of retired sheriffs principal and sheriffs; section 12 also allows for the re-appointment of former qualifying part-time sheriffs and summary sheriffs and part-time summary sheriffs. The section allows a sheriff principal to appoint a qualifying former sheriff principal, a qualifying former sheriff or a qualifying former part-time sheriff to act as a sheriff of the sheriffdom and a qualifying former summary sheriff or part-time summary sheriff to act as a summary sheriff of the sheriffdom. Such an appointment only permits the individual in question to act during such period or periods as the sheriff principal may determine (subsection (2)), and an appointment may only be made where it appears to the sheriff principal to be expedient as a temporary measure in order to facilitate the disposal of business in the sheriff courts of the sheriffdom (subsection (3)). So, for example, a former judicial office holder might be appointed to fill a temporary gap created by the appointment of one of the sheriffs of the sheriffdom as a temporary sheriff principal in terms of section 6. Subsections (4) to (8) define what is meant by a “qualifying” former judicial office holder: in order to be “qualifying”, the former office holder must not have been removed from office under section 25, nor have reached the age of 75. In the case of former part-time sheriffs and former part-time summary sheriffs, the former office holder must not have left office by virtue of the sheriff principal recommending against their reappointment (sections 9(1)(b) and 11(1)(b)), nor by virtue of not having sat for the minimum number of days in a 5-year period (sections 9(1)(c) and 11(1)(c)).

Section 13 – Re-employment of former judicial office holders: further provision

35.This section makes further provisions about the use of former judicial office holders. Subsection (1) provides that an appointment continues until recalled by the relevant sheriff principal. Subsections (2) and (3) provide that a re-appointed judicial officer may exercise the powers of a sheriff or, as the case may be, a summary sheriff of the sheriffdom. Subsection (4) provides that an appointment under section 12(1) comes to an end when the individual reaches the age of 75. Subsection (5) permits an individual to continue to deal with ancillary matters relating to a case begun before the ending of his or her appointment under section 12(1) and providing that for that purpose the individual concerned is to be treated as acting under that appointment.

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