Act of Sederunt (Ordinary Cause Rules 1993 Amendment) (Case Management of Defended Family and Civil Partnership Actions) 2022

New rules have been developed by the Family Law Committee of the Scottish Civil Justice Council for defended Family and Civil Partnership cases in the sheriff court.  

The Act provides new rules to Chapters 33 and 33A in relation to Family and Civil Partnership Actions in the Sheriff Court. Following extensive research conducted to identify areas for improvement, particularly on preventing undue delay in proceedings relating to the welfare of children, a final set of new rules were approved by the Scottish Civil Justice Council in April 2022.

The changes introduced by the new rules include:

• Chapters 9 and 10 will no longer apply to Family Actions with the provisions being accommodated within the new Chapters 33 and 33A instead. This provides simpler and family specific procedural clarity.

• The existing Chapter 33AA has been removed with the provisions incorporated into Chapters 33 and 33A. These case management provisions will apply to all family and civil partnership actions in the Sheriff Court with the intention that greater judicial management will secure expeditious resolution of matters.

• Options hearings have been replaced with an initial case management hearing, and a full case management hearing has been introduced. These hearings have a checklist where parties are expected to advise the court to each matter. This is expected to provide for more expeditious resolution of matters, and potentially reduce system churn with fewer continuations.

• The Sheriff has the discretion to combine the initial case management hearing with a Child Welfare Hearing where they deem it appropriate to do so in order to reduce court sittings.

• The Rules have been updated to require that the F9 form is lodged regardless of whether the pursuer has Section 11 craves.

• Sists will be until a specific date, with the interlocutor specifying the reason for and the length of the sist. The provision also requires a review of sist hearing not later than 30 days after the expiration of the sist.

• A list of witnesses should include a summary of the evidence that each witness is to give. This will allow the Sheriff to ascertain what evidence is to be given and if necessary request experts to confer, exchange opinions, and prepare a note on what can be agreed and the reasons for their disagreements as per recommendation 121 of the Scottish Civil Courts Review.

• Rules on mediation have been expanded to include all family actions, not just those with a section 11 crave. This rule implements recommendation 77 of the Scottish Civil Courts Review. There are exceptions in relation to cases with allegations of domestic abuse.

• New rules in relation to judicial continuity have been introduced in order to partially implement recommendation 50 of the Scottish Civil Courts Review.

In developing the rules, efforts have been made to achieve greater consistency of practice between courts and to modernise the language where possible to promote accessibility and ease of understanding.

The new rules will commence on 25 September 2023.


Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 Amendment) (Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments) 2022
21 September 2022

The instrument amends Chapter 62 (recognition, registration and enforcement of foreign judgments, etc.) of the Rules of the Court of Session 1994 to allow documents which are to be given to or issued by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland under that chapter to be signed and transmitted electronically. The Act of Sederunt was made on 20 September 2022 and will come in to force on the 1st October 2022.

Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure Amendment)(Miscellaneous) 2022/211
17 June 2022

This Act of Sederunt amends the Simple Procedure Rules 2016 as a result of the outputs Scottish Civil Justice Council's Review of Simple Procedure. The instrument makes amendments to the rules, forms and standard orders which are designed to create operational efficiencies. The Act of Sederunt was made on 15 June and will come into force on 28 November 2022.


Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and Sheriff Appeal Court Rules Amendment) (Miscellaneous) 2022 
21 April 2022

This Act of Sederunt amends the Rules of the Court of Session 1994 as a consequence of the enactment of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (c.10). That Act amends the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (c.29) to insert sections 396DA and 396DB which make provision concerning the period for which an interim freezing order has effect. This Act of Sederunt also makes court rule amendments to the Sheriff Appeal Court Rules 2021 and 2015 to correct a cross-referencing error in those Rules.


Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure Amendment) (Civil Online) 2022
03 March 2022

This Act of Sederunt amends the Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure) 2016 so as to require all simple procedure claims to be submitted using Civil Online or the internet interface to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service’s case management system. It makes permanent the temporary modifications introduced by Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure Amendment) (Civil Online) 2020, which were extended for a further period by Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure Amendment) (Civil Online) 2021. It revokes both of those Acts of Sederunt in consequence of the temporary modifications being converted into amendments by this Act of Sederunt.

Claims may still be sent using one of the other methods mentioned in rule 6.6 of the Simple Procedure Rules but when doing so claimants will require to provide a note, to accompany the Claim Form, explaining why it could not have been sent using either the portal on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service website or the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service’s internet interface to its case management system. The sheriff will only permit the claim to be registered if the sheriff considers, from the explanation given in the note, that the claimant could not have sent it using either the portal or the interface. 


Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Appeal Court Rules) 2021/468

13 December 2021

This Act of Sederunt consolidates and restates the Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Appeal
Court Rules) 2015 (S.S.I. 2015/356) with modifications. It makes provision about the procedure to
be followed in appeals to the Sheriff Appeal Court in civil proceedings and comes into force on 6 January 2022. A Policy Note is available to accompany the new rules. Full story

Act of Sederunt (Summary Applications, Statutory Applications and Appeals etc. Rules 1999 and Sheriff Appeal Court Rules Amendment) (Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019) 2021
03 December 2021

This Act of Sederunt provides new court rules for handling applications to the court arising under the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019. The rules were made by the Court of Session on 02 December 2021, laid before the Scottish Parliament on 03 December 2021 and will come into force on 17 December 2021. 

Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 Amendment) (Miscellaneous) (No.2) 2021/434  
29 November 2021

The Act of Sederunt inserts a new rule in to Chapter 14 of the Rules of Court of Session 1994. The rule provides that any application made under an enactment to report a matter to the court due to obstruction or for enforcement is to be made by petition presented in the Outer House. Examples of such application can be found in the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Act 2020 (asp 8). The rule will apply to similar provisions that may be enacted by future legislation.

It also makes consequential amendments arising from this rule change in that the existing provisions in rule 95.2 have been revoked as they are no longer required.

The rules were made by the Court of Session on 24 November 2021, laid before the Scottish Parliament on 29 November 2021 and come in to force on 01 January 2022.

Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and Sheriff Court Company Insolvency Rules Amendment) (Insolvency) 2021
21 Sept, 2021

This Act of Sederunt amends the Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Company Insolvency Rules) 1986 in consequence of amendments made by:


— the Insolvency (Scotland) (Company Voluntary Arrangements and Administration) (Amendment) Rules 2021 (S.I. 2021/1026) (“the 2021 Rules”) to the Insolvency (Scotland) (Company Voluntary Arrangements and Administration) Rules 2018 (S.I. 2018/1082) (“the CVAA Rules”); and

— the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Amendment of Schedule 10) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/1029) (“the 2021 Regulations”) to substitute a new schedule 10 of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (c.12) (“the 2020 Act”).

The 2021 Rules provide for permanent moratorium rules to replace those enacted on a temporary basis by section 3 and Part 4 of schedule 4 of the 2020 Act.

Aside from paragraphs 2(5), 2(6), 3(4) and (5), this Act of Sederunt comes into force on 1st October 2021. Paragraphs 2(5), 2(6), 3(4) and (5) come into force on 29th September 2021 because the 2021 Regulations substitute the new schedule 10 of the 2020 Act from that earlier date.

Paragraph 2(2) of this Act of Sederunt makes provision for the new court remedy created in new rule 5.22A of the CVAA Rules. Paragraph 2(3) substitutes a new rule 74.3C into the Rules of the Court of Session 1994 (“RCS”) to reflect new procedural requirements created by the 2021 Rules and to make those steps clearer. New rule 74.3CA of the RCS make provision for minimum mandatory service of listed applications to the Court. Paragraph 2(4) makes provision to adjust a statutory cross-reference in the RCS in consequence of the creation of permanent moratorium rules by the 2021 Rules. Equivalent provision is made in paragraph 3 in respect of the sheriff court.

Paragraphs 2(5) and 3(4) make provision about how applications to disapply restrictions on winding-up petitions are to be made. Provision is required as a consequence of the substitution of a new schedule 10 to the 2020 Act by the 2021 Regulations. As a result of the repeal of paragraph 20 of schedule 10 by the 2021 Regulations, paragraphs 2(6) and 3(5) of this Act of Sederunt remove provision from the court rules about how applications under paragraph 20 are made.

Consequential revocations are made in paragraph 4 to remove spent court rules. Saving provision is made at paragraph 5 so that the court rules in place before the coming into force date of this Act of Sederunt will continue to govern pre-existing moratoriums and pre-existing applications to the court for them.

Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure Amendment) (Civil Online) 2021

01 Sept, 2021
This Act of Sederunt amends the Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure Amendment) (Civil Online) 2020. That Act of Sederunt made temporary modifications to require all simple procedure claims to be submitted using Civil Online or the internet interface to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service’s case management system. The modifications are due to expire on 30th September 2021. This Act of Sederunt amends that expiry date to substitute a new date of expiry of 31st March 2022 so as to extend the life of the provisions for a period of 6 months.

Full story

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”.

Full story

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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  • Sheriff Appeal Court rules

    Jun 23, 2016
    The main content of this miscellaneous Act of Sederunt are amendments to the Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Appeal Court Rules) 2015, which have been made by the Council following feedback on the operation of the Sheriff Appeal Court since it was established on 1 January 2016. It also contains minor and consequential amendments to various other sheriff court rules as a result of these procedural changes within the Sheriff Appeal Court.
    Full story
  • New Simple Procedure

    Jun 13, 2016
    The Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure) 2016 provides rules of court, forms and a set of standard orders for the simple procedure which will replace the small claims procedure for cases which have a value of £5,000 or less in the sheriff court.
    Full story
  • Amendments to Court of Session and Sheriff Court rules

    Feb 23, 2016
    The Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (Miscellaneous) 2016 comes into force on 21st March 2016.
    Full story
  • Fees for sheriff officers & messengers at arms

    Feb 17, 2016
    These two Acts of Sederunt amend fees for sheriff officers and messengers at arms. The new tables will come into effect on 1 April this year.
    Full story
  • Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (Miscellaneous) 2015

    Dec 22, 2015
    This Act of Sederunt amends the Ordinary Cause Rules 1993 in implementation of the Section 16 Enterprise Act 2002 Regulations 2015 and amends the Act of Sederunt (Child Care and Maintenance Rules) 1997 in consequence of the coming into force of section 44A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 and the Secure Accommodation (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Regulations 2015. It comes into force on 1 February 2016.
    Full story
  • Sheriff Appeal Court

    Dec 15, 2015
    This Act of Sederunt amends the Rules of the Court of Session 1994 and various sheriff court rules in consequence of the Sheriff Appeal Court taking up its civil jurisdiction. It comes into force on 1 January 2016.
    Full story
  • Protective Expenses Orders

    Dec 09, 2015
    This Act of Sederunt amends Chapter 58A of the Rules of the Court of Session 1994. The rules make provision for the granting of protective expenses orders in certain proceedings relating to the environment. It comes into force on 11 January 2016.
    Full story
  • Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors in the Sheriff Appeal Court) 2015

    Nov 19, 2015
    This Act of Sederunt regulates the taxation of accounts of expenses between parties in relation to proceedings in the Sheriff Appeal Court. It comes into force on 01 January 2016.
    Full story
  • Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Appeal Rules) 2015

    Oct 23, 2015
    The Act of Sederunt (Sheriff Court Appeal Rules) 2015 makes provision about procedure to be followed in appeals to the Sheriff Appeal Court in civil proceedings. The Rules come into force on 01 January 2016, when the Sheriff Appeal Court takes up its civil jurisdiction and competence.
    Full story
  • Act of Sederunt (Child Support Rules Amendment) (Miscellaneous) 2015

    Oct 21, 2015
    This Act of Sederunt inserts a new Schedule in the Act of Sederunt (Child Support Rules) 1993 in place of the existing Schedule. It comes into force on 21 December 2015.
    Full story

Providing Feedback

The SCJC welcomes feedback on any aspect of court rules.

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