SCJC Working Group Establishment – Group Proceedings

Mar 12, 2020

The Scottish Civil Justice Council has established a working group to take forward the work required to make proposals for implementation of court rules to support Part 4 of the Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Act 2018, relating to Group Proceedings.


The Act received Royal Assent in June 2018 and takes forward many of the recommendations from Sheriff Principal James Taylor’s Review of the Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation in Scotland published in September 2013. In addition, part 4 of the Act makes provisions for group proceedings to be developed for Scotland. This implements related recommendations made in the Rt. Hon Lord Gill’s Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review of 2009.

Section 20 of the Act provides for a new court procedure known as “group procedure” which will be available in the Court of Session. Group proceedings are similar to what is known as “multi-party actions” or “class actions” in other jurisdictions.

The Council sets out its priorities in its’ Annual Programme of business and the current programme lists the implementation of the Act as a high priority. The Council has agreed that that the work to implement part 4 of the Act will be expedited due to potential access to justice issues which have been drawn to its attention. As a result, this work will be prioritised ahead of other Council business where resources compete. 


The remit of the working group is:

“To expedite the consideration of the secondary legislation and other matters required to facilitate implementation of Part 4 of the Civil Litigation (Expenses & Group Proceedings (S) Act 2018 and to make proposals for draft rules for consideration by the Scottish Civil Justice Council”.

In furthering this remit, the Working Group has agreed a timetable of work which includes regular meetings, engagement with interested parties and a targeted consultation all of which will inform its development of the proposed new procedural framework. The Working Group reports its progress directly to the Council and it is anticipated that rules for group proceedings will be available in Summer 2020.


The working group is made up of the following members:

·         Lord Armstrong (Chair)

·         Robert Milligan QC

·         Elena Fry (Council member)

·         Thomas Docherty (Council member)

·         Stewart Mullen (Costs and Funding Committee member)

·         Diane Machin (Offices of the Court of Session)

·         Walter Drummond-Murray (Scottish Government)

·         Ian Dickson (Scottish Legal Aid Board)



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