At the end of last week, the Scottish Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill, announced that the proposal in the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill, which is making its way through the Scottish Parliament, to increase the exclusive limit of the sheriff court from the current level of £5,000 to £150,000 would be modified to introduce a new limit of £100,000. This move comes in response to feedback from several interested groups, who gave evidence to the Justice Committee earlier this year, and expressed concern that the proposed limit of £150,000 was excessive and would lead to the sheriff courts being over burdened with the additional case load that the reform would bring. In addition, concerns were expressed that the increase in the sheriff court's exclusive limit would lead to many claimants being deprived of the right to be represented by Counsel, which arises automatically in Court of Session actions, but has to be sanctioned by the court in sheriff court proceedings.
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