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Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014

Section 128– Abolition of the office of stipendiary magistrate

255.Section 128 provides that the office of stipendiary magistrate is abolished. Existing stipendiary magistrates (who will have sat in a summary criminal proceedings only capacity) are to be appointed as summary sheriffs and part-time stipendiary magistrates are to be appointed as part-time summary sheriffs, unless they decline appointment. Section 74(5) of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 provides that a person is not to be appointed as a stipendiary magistrate unless the person is, and has been for at least five years, a solicitor or advocate. It is, therefore, possible that a person appointed as a stipendiary magistrate may not be qualified for appointment as a summary sheriff, as section 14 of the Act requires ten years legal qualification. Subsections (4) and (7) ensure that they may still be appointed as a summary sheriff.

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