Simple Procedure & other Rules changes

Nov 17, 2016

This instrument  - Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Rules Amendment)
(Miscellaneous) 2016 - primarily makes amendments relating to the new Simple Procedure Rules but also contains changes to the new Bankruptcy Rules and minor changes to the Ordinary Cause Personal Injury Rules.

The Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure) 2016 (“the new Rules”) was made on 9 June 2016 and comes into force on 28 November 2016. The new rules were prepared on the basis that “Cases are to be resolved as quickly as possible, at the least expense to parties and the courts”. As a result, there have been a number of innovations which have included changes in respect of service, submission of forms and enforcement. Since the making of the new Rules, the Secretariat has received correspondence from the Society of Messengers at Arms and Sheriff Officers (SMASO) and Brodies LLP, requesting clarification of or changes to the Rules.

As a result of these correspondences the new Rules have been amended to include trainee solicitor in the definition of a legal representative. This will allow trainee solicitors in either year of their traineeship to appear in simple procedure claims. In addition, changes have been made to align the rules with the existing law of diligence and to clarify that a charge must be personally served by a sheriff officer, with some exceptions.

The instrument also makes amendments to the existing European Small Claims Rules. These are minor consequential amendments which were not identified during the drafting of the Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (No. 4) (Simple Procedure) 2016. This instrument made a number of transitional and consequential amendments in advance of the commencement of the simple procedure rules and was approved by Council at their meeting dated 3 October 2016. It will also come into force on 28 November 2016.

The Personal Injury Committee also noted at their meeting dated 17 October that there was a typographical error in Chapter 36A of the Ordinary Cause Rules. This error was that rule 36A.10(1)(c) refers to medical “reports” rather than “records”. This instrument therefore replaces the word “reports” with “records”.

The Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 comes into force on 30 November 2016. The Court of Session made the Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Bankruptcy Rules) 2016 and the Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session, Sheriff Appeal Court Rules and Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016) 2016 (the 2016 Rules) on 6 October 2016. These sets of rules support the implementation of the 2016 Act and are also due to come into force on 30 November 2016.

The Scottish Parliament’s Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee considered the Rules and raised some drafting issues with the Lord President’s Private Office. Parts 6 and 7 of the instrument clarify the transitional arrangements and correct some other errors in those Rules. The changes will be made before the 2016 Rules come into force on 30 November.

Providing Feedback

The SCJC welcomes feedback on any aspect of court rules.

Please email your comments to the Secretariat scjc@scotcourts.gov.uk