Family Law Committee  

The Family Law Committee was established on 10 June 2013.

The Family Law Committee normally meets 4 to 6 times a year. Agendas, papers and minutes of Committee meetings are published here when available.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, business is currently being undertaken by way of correspondence. The committee has recently considered:

  • A rules request received from the Family Actions Users Group in respect of Court of Session family actions. This rules request has been approved by committee and will now be considered by the Scottish Civil Justice Council.

Work will continue remotely on the Committees priorities such as the Case Management of Family Actions in the Sheriff Court, the extension of Simplified Divorce and rules relating to Civil Partnerships in Scotland.

During the development of new rules for the family and civil partnership actions, the committee has considered the question of extending mediation. Recommendation 9 of the Family Law Committee’s sub-group was that mediation should be extended to all family actions, not just those with a crave under Section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. At the meeting of 8 July 2019, the committee discussed recommendation 9 and potential barriers to implementation. During these discussions, the Scottish Government committed to producing a policy paper on the matter which can be viewed here (Paper 2020-09E FLC Paper regarding Mediation Istanbul convention).

Remit of the Family Law Committee

The Committee’s remit is concerned with the power to make provision about the practice and procedure to be followed in the Scottish civil courts in relation to family actions and proceedings relating to children.

In relation to the above remit, the Committee has the following functions -

  • to keep the relevant civil rules under review;
  • to consider and make proposals for modification and reform;
  • to require that family actions and proceedings relating to children be dealt with as expeditiously and efficiently as is possible;
  • to review, develop and promote a case management structure for family actions and proceedings relating to children; and
  • to report to the Scottish Civil Justice Council with its recommendations and, where applicable, draft rules.

In the exercise of the foregoing functions, the Committee is to take due account of the guiding principles of the Scottish Civil Justice Council -

  • the civil justice system should be fair, accessible and efficient;
  • rules relating to practice and procedure should be as clear and easy to understand as possible;
  • practice and procedure should, where appropriate, be similar in all civil courts; and
  • methods of resolving disputes which do not involve the courts should, where appropriate, be promoted.

In addition, in cases involving children, the Committee is to take due account of the need to regard their welfare as the paramount consideration.

The Chair of the Committee is Lady Wise.

Minutes and papers from meetings can be found below.

Minutes and Papers of Meetings

2013       2014       2015       2016       2017       2018       2019      2020    2021

Meeting Dates

Future meeting dates of the Family Law Committee will be published in due course


Current Members

Membership and further information about the members of the Family Law Committee can be viewed here.