Summary of responses to the SCJC consultation on the Simple Procedure Rules

Nov 07, 2018

The Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC) has published a summary of the responses to its consultation on the court rules for certain civil cases with a value of £5,000 or less. 

There were 25 responses to the consultation on the Simple Procedure Rules, which focused on the operation of the rules, forms and standard orders in order to allow any problems to be considered and amended if necessary. 

Given this review’s focus on the operation of the rules, a further review will be carried out by the Council at a later date in order to ascertain whether the policy intentions of simple procedure have been met. 

As part of the review, the Council has commissioned the University of Glasgow to carry out research into the accessibility and usability of the Simple Procedure Rules by party litigants. 

The Access to Justice Committee will consider the consultation responses alongside the research report from the University of Glasgow. 

The Committee will then be in a position to consider making recommendations to the Council for any changes to the Simple Procedure Rules. 

Summary of Responses to the SCJC consultation on the Simple Procedure Rules 

Background information 

On 28 November 2016 simple procedure replaced small claims in its entirety and largely replaced summary cause procedure. The effect of this is that simple procedure must be used to make a claim which has a monetary value of £5000 or less and seeks payment, delivery, the recovery of moveable property or an order for someone to do something specific. 

The court rules and procedure for these types of claims are set out in the Act of Sederunt (Simple Procedure) 2016 (‘the Simple Procedure Rules’), which is the focus of this report. 

It is intended that simple procedure will be extended to include other types of claim at a later date. These claims are referred to collectively as ‘special claims’ and will include personal injury claims, actions of multiplepoinding, aliment, furthcoming and the recovery of possession of heritable property. 

The focus of this review is primarily on the operation of the rules, forms and standard orders. It does not consider the underlying policy. This is to allow any problems with the current rules, forms or standard orders to be considered and amended as required, in advance of the introduction of the special claim rules. 

A further review will be carried out by the Council at a later date in order to ascertain whether the policy intentions of simple procedure have been met. 

As part of the review, the Council has commissioned the University of Glasgow to carry out research into the accessibility and usability of the Simple Procedure Rules by party litigants. The Council intends to carry out focus groups with interested parties, likely to include both private practice and third sector organisations, to obtain further feedback on the Simple Procedure Rules. 

This report therefore provides a summary of the responses to the consultation exercise. Any proposed changes to the Simple Procedure Rules as a result of the consultation will be considered by the Committee once the research conducted by the University of Glasgow has concluded.

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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