New court rules for civil orders under the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019

Dec 03, 2021

The 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) 2021/452 was made by the Court of Session on 02 December 2021 and laid before the Scottish Parliament on 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 2019 Act”).  The 2019 Act raises the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland from 8 to 12 years and introduces three new civil court orders along with powers to Police Scotland for the making of application to the sheriff relating to:

·  The search of a child, vehicle or premises
·  Child Interview Orders; and
·  The taking of intimate samples

The Scottish Civil Justice Council met on Monday 29 November 2021 to discuss the Scottish Government’s announcement to commence the 2019 Act. The Council reluctantly approved bespoke rules regulating these applications to the court as this was considered preferable to applications proceeding under standard summary application procedure provided for in existing court rules.

The rules insert a new Chapter 53 into the Summary Applications, Statutory Applications and Appeals etc Rules 1999 to enable applications under the 2019 Act to be made to the court. In addition, the rules insert a new Chapter 31 into the Sheriff Appeal Court Rules 2015. This chapter regulates the procedure in appeals made against an order granted by a sheriff.

The new rules come into force on Friday 17 December 2021.  

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Providing Feedback

The SCJC welcomes feedback on any aspect of court rules.

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