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Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007

Section 75: Stipendiary magistrates: further provision

411.This section makes provision for the payment, reappointment, removal and disqualification of stipendiary magistrates.

412.Subsection (1) gives Scottish Ministers the power to determine the remuneration, allowances and pension provision of stipendiary magistrates. The exact mechanism by which Ministers will determine this is still to be decided. One possibility is that the remuneration of stipendiary magistrates will be linked to another, independently determined, pay scale. Subsection (2) makes it clear that Scottish Ministers are to pay the expenditure arising from subsection (1).

413.Subsection (3) specifies those provisions in the Act relating to JPs which also apply to stipendiary magistrates. These provisions relate to terms of appointment, reappointment, removal and disqualification.

414.The provisions in section 70 of the Act will, in effect, only apply to part-time stipendiary magistrates, since they relate to reappointment at the end of a five year term of appointment. A part-time stipendiary magistrate is to be reappointed at the end of their five year term unless they decline their reappointment; they are aged 69 years or over; they are disqualified under the provisions of section 73 relating to sequestration and bankruptcy; or the sheriff principal makes a recommendation against reappointment. Sheriffs principal will be able to recommend against the reappointment of part-time stipendiary magistrates on the grounds that they have not complied with any terms of appointment relating to their availability to meet local business needs (this provision could be especially relevant for part-time stipendiary magistrates) and on such other grounds as the sheriff principal considers relevant. Since stipendiary magistrates will not be subject to training, appraisal or residential requirements, failure to comply with any of those is not specified as a possible ground for removal. Since stipendiary magistrates will not be subject to appraisal, “inadequate performance” does not constitute a specific ground for a recommendation against reappointment for part-time stipendiary magistrates.

415.Similarly, at subsection (3)(c) the “inadequate performance” provision set out at section 71(6)(b) of this Act as a possible ground for removing JPs does not apply to stipendiary magistrates.

416.Under subsection (3)(d), the provisions of sections 72 and 73 apply to stipendiary magistrates as well as to JPs. These sections relate to the disqualification of solicitors who are JPs, and disqualification in the case of sequestration and bankruptcy.

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