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Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016

Specialist sheriffs and summary sheriffs

Section 37 – Judicial specialisation in inquiries

116.Section 37 makes provision for sheriffs, part-time sheriffs, summary sheriffs and part-time summary sheriffs to be designated as specialist sheriffs in FAIs. Subsection (1) allows the sheriff principal to designate sheriffs and summary sheriffs within the sheriffdom, with section (3) allowing the Lord President of the Court of Session to designate part-time sheriffs and part-time summary sheriffs, who are not assigned to any particular sheriffdom, as specialists.

117.Subsection (5) makes it clear that it is still competent for a sheriff, part-time sheriff, summary sheriff, or part-time summary sheriff who is not designated as a specialist in FAIs to conduct an FAI. This may be inevitable owing to pressure of other casework. Under subsection (7), however, the sheriff principal must have to have regard to the desirability of allocating an FAI to a specialist.

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