In January of this year, Lord Gill called the Courts Reform (Scotland Act) 2014 “the single most important piece of legislation in the field of civil justice for over a century”.
While the importance of numerous pieces of secondary legislation should not be underestimated it is clear the changes are going to be monumental. Main areas for reform:-
The Sheriff Courts’ privative limit of £5,000 will be replaced with an exclusive competence of £100,000;
Sheriff Courts with an all-Scotland jurisdiction to be established;
New appeal procedures and the creation of a Sheriff Appeal Court;
The introduction of a three month time limit and a requirement for permission in all judicial reviews;
Replacing summary cause procedure – which also includes small claims – with a new simple procedure.