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Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014

Section 27 – Sheriff principal’s responsibility for efficient disposal of business in sheriff courts

52.Section 27, which substantially re-enacts the provisions of sections 15 and 16(1) of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971, gives the sheriff principal responsibility to ensure the efficient disposal of business in sheriff courts in his or her sheriffdom (subsection (1)) and the power to make such arrangements as appear necessary or expedient for the purpose of carrying out that responsibility (subsection (2)). In particular, the sheriff principal has power to allocate business among the judiciary of the sheriffdom (subsection (3)), and to give directions of an administrative character to such judiciary and to members of the staff of the SCTS (subsection (5)). The “judiciary of the sheriffdom” is defined in section 125(2) as all judicial officers within the sheriffdom, including part-time sheriffs and part-time summary sheriffs. Subsection (7) makes it clear that the powers of the sheriff principal under this section are subject to the Lord President’s overall responsibility for the efficient disposal of business in the Scottish courts under provisions in the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008.

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