Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994, Sheriff Appeal Court Rules and Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting) 2021
01 June, 2021
This Act of Sederunt amends the Rules of the Court of Session 1994, the Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Appeal Court Rules) 2015, the Ordinary Cause Rules 1993 and the Summary Cause Rules 2002.
Section 8 of the Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Act 2018 (“the Act”) introduces a procedure known as “Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting”. Section 8 of the Act makes provision in civil proceedings for damages for personal injury or death to the effect that the court must not make an award of expenses against the person bringing the action or the appeal arising therefrom, even if the person fails in their claim, provided the person has conducted the proceedings in an appropriate manner. Section 8(4) of the Act sets out exceptions to that principle whereby such a person, or their legal representative, may be held not to have conducted proceedings in an appropriate manner. Section 8(6) of the Act provides that further exceptions may be specified by Act of Sederunt. 

This instrument makes amendments to the Rules of the Court of Session, the Sheriff Appeal Court Rules, the Ordinary Cause Rules and the Summary Cause Rules to add a new Chapter to each set of rules. In each case it specifies further exceptions, in terms of section 8(6) of the Act, and establishes court procedure for assessing whether exceptions apply. 

The instrument provides that where the court makes an award of expenses on the ground that the pursuer has failed to beat a tender, or unreasonably delayed in accepting it, the liability of that person to the applicant, or applicants, lodging the tender is not to exceed expenses incurred by the applicant after the date of the tender, and is limited to an aggregate sum, payable to all applicants (if more than one) of 75% of the amount of damages awarded to the pursuer. 

In each case the relevant new Chapter provides that an application may refer to one or more of the exceptions set out in section 8(4) of the Act and in the instrument itself. The instrument provides that applications are to be in writing, made by way of motion procedure in the Court of Session, the Sheriff Appeal Court and in ordinary causes in the sheriff court, and by way of incidental application in summary causes; and that such an application must be made before the pronouncing of an interlocutor disposing of the expenses of the action or, as the case may be, the appeal.

The policy note relating to this Act of Sederunt can be found here.


28 May, 2021

This Act of Sederunt makes changes to the rules regulating the fees of Messengers-at-Arms and   sheriff officers. 
Paragraphs 2 and 3 substitute new Tables of Fees for Messengers-at-Arms and sheriff officers in Act of Sederunt (Fees of Messengers-at-Arms) (No. 2) 2002 and Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) (No.2) 2002. 
The fee levels in the new Tables of Fees represent an increase of 6% on the existing fees. This increase takes effect from 30th June 2021.

 
Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (Miscellaneous) 2021
Feb 17, 2021
This Act of Sederunt comes in to force on 01 March 2021 and amends various Forms in the appendices of the Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and the Ordinary Cause Rules 1993. The Forms, which are simplified divorce and dissolution of civil partnership applications, are amended in consequence of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. Under the Jurisdiction and Judgments (Family, Civil Partnership and Marriage (Same Sex Couples)) (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment etc.) Regulations 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/104) the jurisdiction of the Court of Session and sheriff courts in these court actions has been brought back to the position before there was EU provision in this area. Necessary consequential amendments are made to the Forms by this Act of Sederunt. 

This Act of Sederunt also amends rule 49.91 of the Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and rule 33.96 of the Ordinary Cause Rules 1993 to make minor provision in relation to actions for declarator of recognition, or non-recognition, of certain foreign decrees in consequence of European Union withdrawal. The rules, as amended, apply to such actions concerning decrees of divorce, nullity or separation in respect of an opposite sex marriage or a same sex marriage. 

Paragraph 3(2) removes a reference to Council Regulation (E.C.) No. 2201/2003 of 27th November 2003 concerning the jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility from rule 33.2 of the Ordinary Cause Rules. Saving and transitional provision is made by paragraph 4 of this Act of Sederunt in relation to that amendment. 

Minor amendments, unconnected to European Union withdrawal, are made to the Forms to provide that references to “General Register Office” and “General Register Office (Scotland)” are substituted with “National Records of Scotland”.

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Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 Amendment) (Miscellaneous) 2021
Jan 20, 2021
This Act of Sederunt  provides for a change to Chapter 58 of the Rules of the Court of Session (Judicial Review) by extending the period a case can be sisted for a legal aid application from 28 days to two months at a time. 

The instrument also amends Chapter 49 of the Rules of the Court of Session by providing that the last date for amendment is now 56 days before the proof, and lists of witnesses and inventories of productions should be lodged with the Court 56 days before the diet of proof.

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Act of Sederunt (Challenges to Validity of EU Instruments (EU Exit)) (Amendment) 2020 
Jan 07, 2021
This Act of Sederunt amends the Act of Sederunt (Challenges to Validity of EU Instruments (EU Exit) in the Court of Session) 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/328) and the Act of Sederunt (Challenges to Validity of EU Instruments (EU Exit) in the Sheriff Appeal Court and Sheriff Court) 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/329) (“the two Principal Instruments”). 

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Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (Miscellaneous) 2020
Dec 21, 2020
This Act of Sederunt was made by the court on 17 December and comes into force in accordance with article 1(2). It amends the Rules of the Court of Session 1994 (the “RCS”), the Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Company Insolvency Rules) 1986 (the “1986 Rules”) and the Act of Sederunt (Fatal Accident Inquiry Rules) 2017 (the “2017 Rules”). It comes into force on IP completion day. The amendments made to Chapter 74 of the RCS, the 1986 Rules and the 2017 Rules are in consequence of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. 

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Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 Amendment) (Group Proceedings) 2020

Jul 22, 2020

New rules have been approved by the Court of Session enabling two or more people with the same, similar, or related claims, to raise court proceedings in a single action for the first time.

This new approach will be particularly useful in cases where lower value claims are considered too costly for individuals to raise separately. Potential litigants will now be able to raise a group proceedings case in the Court of Session in a cost effective way.

An example of this would be a large scale consumer dispute where different people want to seek financial damages against the same company for the same, similar or related reasons. These people can now raise a court action together, rather than one at a time.

Lord Carloway, the Lord President and Chair of the Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC), said: “The Council has worked very hard to ensure that the new rules will be flexible and enable group proceedings to proceed efficiently in the court, saving time and money. The Council has focused on making the rules as straightforward as possible for those individuals who will benefit from the new procedures.”

Similar proceedings are known as ‘multi-party actions’ or ‘class actions’ in other jurisdictions.

The rules provide an ‘opt-in’ model for group proceedings. Under this model, the Court’s determination of the case will extend only to individuals who have subscribed to the group proceedings action. A successful outcome in the group proceedings could not be relied upon by anyone who had not subscribed. Equally, non-subscribers would not be bound to accept a settlement from the defender and they could raise their own claim should they choose to do so.

The rules implement Part 4 of the Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Act 2018 and enable group proceedings to be brought in the Court of Session and with the permission of the Court. The rules come into force on Friday, 31 July 2020.

The SCJC will continue work to consider a number of related policy matters including extending the rules to public law (judicial review) cases and the consideration of an ‘opt-out’ regime. These and other matters will be scheduled within the Council’s future work programmes.

See the rule
.

Read more about court rules.

Related article – SCJC Working Group Establishment – Group Proceedings 

The Council welcomes feedback in relation to the practical workings of the rules of court: scjc@scotcourts.gov.uk

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The SCJC welcomes feedback on any aspect of court rules.

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