Consultation on the Case Management of Family and Civil Partnership Actions in the Sheriff Court

The consultation document and associated annexes can be accessed below: 

Consultation on the Case Management of Family and Civil Partnership Actions in the Sheriff Court

Annex A - Report of the Family Law Committee's Sub-Committee on Case Management in Family Actions

Annex B - Respondent Information Form

Annex C - Questionnaire

Annex D - Glossary of Legal Terms

Overview

This consultation seeks views on recommendations to improve how family and civil partnership actions are dealt with in the sheriff court, particularly in order to prevent undue delay in proceedings relating to the welfare of children.  

Having commissioned research into the effectiveness of Chapter 33AA of the Ordinary Cause Rules 1993 and considered a policy paper on case management by the Scottish Government, the Council's Family Law Committee established a sub-committee in May 2017 to consider changes to court rules.

The sub-committee made a number of recommendations, including:

  • a new case management structure for all family and civil partnership actions in the sheriff court, not just those with a crave for an order under section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995;
  • allocating actions to a “fast track” or “proof track” procedure, as appropriate;
  • greater judicial control over the sisting (i.e. ‘pausing’ or staying) of family and civil partnership actions;
  • the adoption of abbreviated pleadings and more detailed witness lists;
  • judicial continuity insofar as possible;
  • provision allowing all family and civil partnership actions to be referred to mediation; and
  • greater judicial control over the use of expert witnesses.

 

The Council welcomes your views on the recommendations.

What Happens Next

At the end of the consultation period, non-confidential responses will be published on the Council’s website. After responses have been analysed and considered by the Council, a final report on the consultation will be published on the website.

Closed 22 August 2018

Opened 30 May 2018

Contact

SCJC Secretariat
scjc@scotcourts.gov.uk
0131 240 6776