Temporary and part-time judiciary

6Temporary sheriff principal

(1)Subsection (2) applies where, in relation to a sheriffdom—

(a)a vacancy occurs in the office of sheriff principal,

(b)the Lord President of the Court of Session believes that the sheriff principal is unable to perform all or some of the functions of the office, or

(c)the sheriff principal rules that he or she is precluded from performing all or some of those functions.

(2)If the Lord President so requests, the Scottish Ministers must appoint—

(a)a person holding the office of sheriff (whether of the same or another sheriffdom), or

(b)a qualifying former sheriff principal (whether of the same or another sheriffdom),

to act as sheriff principal of the sheriffdom.

(3)A “qualifying former sheriff principal” is an individual who—

(a)ceased to hold that office other than by virtue of an order under section 25, and

(b)has not reached the age of 75.

(4)The appointment may be made for the purposes of the exercise of—

(a)all of the sheriff principal’s functions, or

(b)only those functions that the sheriff principal is unable to perform or is precluded from performing.

(5)An individual appointed under subsection (2) is to be known as a “temporary sheriff principal”.

(6)The Lord President may request the appointment of a temporary sheriff principal for a sheriffdom in the circumstances specified in subsection (1)(a) only if the Lord President considers such an appointment to be necessary or expedient in order to avoid a delay in the administration of justice in the sheriffdom.