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Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014

Section 21 – Tribunal to consider fitness for office

46.Section 21 provides that the First Minister must set up a tribunal to investigate and report on whether a person is unfit to hold judicial office by reason of inability, neglect of duty, or misbehaviour where requested to do so by the Lord President (subsection (1)). The First Minister may set up such a tribunal in other such circumstances as the First Minister thinks fit, having consulted the Lord President (subsection (2)). Subsection (3) provides that sheriffs principal, sheriffs, summary sheriffs, part-time sheriffs, and part-time summary sheriffs are all potentially subject to the jurisdiction of such tribunals. Subsection (4) provides that the tribunal is to consist of one judge who must be a qualifying member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (and who will, by virtue of subsection (7), chair the tribunal and have a casting vote); one holder of the relevant judicial office; one individual who has been qualified for at least 10 years as a solicitor or advocate; and one individual who does not, and never has, fallen within any of the other categories. The terms “qualifying member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council” and “relevant judicial office” are defined in subsection (5). The membership of the tribunal is to be selected by the First Minister, with the agreement of the Lord President (subsection (6)).

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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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