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29 MAY 2002

UNITED KINGDOM / SCOTLAND / INFO

CONFERENCE OF PROSECUTORS GENERAL OF EUROPE

PUBLIC PROSECUTION

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service provides Scotland's sole independent public prosecution and deaths investigation service. It is a Department of the Scottish Executive and is headed by the Lord Advocate who is assisted by the Solicitor General for Scotland. They are the Scottish Law Officers and members of the Scottish Executive.

The Lord Advocate and Solicitor General are assisted by Advocate Deputes and are known collectively as Crown Counsel. Advocate Deputes are usually experienced, practising members of the Faculty of Advocates, appointed for a period of about three years.

The Chief Executive is a senior civil servant and is the 'permanent' head of the Department. This is a new post reflecting the new focus on business management, separating responsibility and accountability for the delivery of the business from the professional leadership and legal adviser to the Lord Advocate.

The Chief Executive is supported by the Crown Agent, who is the head of legal staff. The Crown Agent is an experienced prosecutor appointed from the Procurator Fiscal Service.

The Procurator Fiscal Service is divided into regions, with a Regional Procurator Fiscal for each of the six Sheriffdoms in Scotland:

- Grampian, Highland and Islands (at Aberdeen)

- Tayside, Central and Fife (at Dundee)

- Lothian and Borders (at Edinburgh)

- Glasgow and Strathkelvin (at Glasgow)

- North Strathclyde (at Paisley)

- South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway (at Hamilton)

Within the regions, there is a network of 48 Procurator Fiscal offices, one for each Sheriff Court district. Procurators Fiscal are assisted by Procurator Fiscal Deputes.

JUDICIARY

The High Court of Justiciary is Scotland's supreme criminal court. There is no further appeal to the House of Lords. When sitting as a trial court it sits in cities and larger towns throughout Scotland. When exercising its appellate jurisdiction it sits only in Parliament House in Edinburgh. The court consists of the Lord Justice General, the Lord Justice Clerk and the remaining 30 judges of the Court of Session who, when sitting in the High Court, are known as Lords Commissioners of Justiciary. It has jurisdiction over the whole of Scotland and over all crimes, unless its jurisdiction is excluded by statute.

In practice the High Court deals with serious crimes such as murder, culpable homicide, armed robbery, drug trafficking and sexual offences involving children. Cases are tried by a Judge and a jury of fifteen men and women.

When sitting as an appellate court, the court consists of at least three Judges when hearing appeals against conviction and two when hearing sentence appeals. Appeals are heard from the High Court, the Sheriff Court and the District Court. The High Court also hears appeals in cases referred to it by the Secretary of State.

For legal purposes Scotland is split into six regions called Sheriffdoms. Each Sheriffdom has a Sheriff Principal who in addition to hearing appeals in civil matters has responsibility for the conduct of the courts.

Within these Sheriffdoms there are a total of forty-nine Sheriff Courts, varying in size and design but all serving the same purpose. Most cases are heard before a judge called a Sheriff.

A list of contact details for the Supreme Court and Sheriff Courts is attached at Annex 3.

PROFFESSIONAL ORGANISATIONS

Law Society of Scotland

The Law Society of Scotland is the governing body for Scottish solicitors. It was established by the Legal Aid & Solicitors (Scotland) Act in 1949. The main aims of the Society are set out in the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980. In essence, the Society promotes the interests of solicitors in Scotland and provides services to the public in this field.

All practising solicitors in Scotland must be members of the Society and must hold a current Practising Certificate which is issued by the Society.

The Law Society of Scotland is made up of a Council, a series of Committees and a permanent management staff.

Some of the Society's Committees have a regulatory function while others monitor and develop services across a wide range of areas including Professional Practice and Ethics, Legal Education, Training and Continuing Education, Professional Remuneration, Professional Indemnity Insurance, Financial Services, Legal Aid, Property Law, International Relations, Conveyancing, Marketing, Public Relations and Publications.

Services for the Public

The Society also provides services for the public. They provide a wide range of easy-to-understand leaflets giving information on a broad range of legal topics. These can be obtained from the Society, from solicitors' office and from general public outlets.

The Society is also responsible for dealing with complaints made against solicitors and will always seek to do so with impartiality and fairness. It has a dedicated team of Client Relations department whom you can call, write to or email.

A list of contact addresses for the Law Society is attached at Annex 4.

CURRENT REFORMS

In Scotland there is currently a number of reviews of the criminal justice system. There is a review of the management of the High Court being carried out by Lord Bonomy, a High Court judge and of summary justice being carried out under the chairmanship of Sheriff Principal John Macinnes. The Quality and Practice Review Unit of the Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service is also carrying out a review of the management of High Court work by the Service. Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service has just completed a review of the planning, allocation and management of resources. The review is essentially concerned with internal management issues. The review made a number of recommendations some of which reflect the principles as set out in Recommendation 2000(19)

In particular, there are recommendations relating to career structure, training and the development of specialist legal posts and the establishment of multi –disciplinary teams that reflect some aspects of recommendations 5,7 and 8. The relevant recommendations are set out at Annex 5. The Lord Advocate has accepted the key recommendations and the Service is presently engaged on restructuring along the lines described in the report., including the reorganisation of groups of Procurator Fiscals’ Offices into a larger number of areas, rather than regions and greater geographical alignment with police force areas.

INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION

A separate minute on Mutual Legal Assistance is attached at Annex 6.

STATUS OF PUBLIC PROSECUTORS AND COURT JUDGES

There is a distinct and separate career structure for public prosecutors and judges. Public prosecutors are members of the Civil Service and are subject to the civil service conditions of employment including pay, pension rights and recruitment processes.

Recruitment
Public Prosecutors

Every individual appointed to a post in the Civil Service must be selected in accordance with the Civil Service Order 1955 and selected on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

To comply with Civil Service policy, equality of opportunity must apply throughout the recruitment process. There are three reasons for this. First to find the best available person for the job considered on individual merit and regardless of race, gender, or (subject to the requirements of the job) disability. Secondly, to put all appointments above suspicion of patronage. If friends, relations or business contacts comprise most of the applicants for a job, it is clearly not possible to defend our procedures - even if the successful candidate is perfectly competent. And thirdly, to ensure that recruitment procedures reinforce the political impartiality of the Service.

Recruitment to the Senior Civil Service

The senior civil service comprises the most senior staff in the department. The department may determine which posts are included in the senior civil service, provided that they have a job weight (JESP) score of at least 7, and which staff will fill them.

Responsibility for management of the senior civil service is principally a matter for the department. However, some terms and conditions are determined centrally. These are detailed in various chapters of an internal Staff Handbook.

Judicial Appointments
Lord President and Lord Justice Clerk

Following devolution, Section 95(1) and (2) of the Scotland Act governs the appointment of the 2 most senior Scottish Judges. The Act provides that First Minister of Scotland nominates a person and the Prime Minister of the UK recommends the appointment to the Queen. A copy of section 95 is attached at Annex 7

In March 2001, the Scottish Executive Justice Minister, Jim Wallace, announced the establishment of an independent Judicial Appointments Board. The Board comprises of a lay Chair, 4 lay members, a Court of Session Judge, a Sheriff Principal, a Sheriff, an advocate and a solicitor. The appointment process is carried out with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Pensions

Members of the procurator Fiscal Service

When a person joins the Procurator Fiscal Service he/she automatically becomes a member of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. Membership is not compulsory and employees can opt out. The Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) is an occupational pension scheme. It provides a comprehensive range of guaranteed benefits which include:

- a pension and a lump sum at retirement;

- widow's or widower's pension;

- children's pension;

- death benefits;

- ill health retirement benefits;

- injury benefits.

The PCSPS is a non﷓contributory scheme apart from a 1.5% deduction from pay for widows'/ widowers' benefits. Full tax relief is given on all pension contributions.

The legal authority for paying pensions and other benefits comes from the Superannuation Act 1972. The Social Security Act 1985 requires the PCSPS to provide staff with written information about the pension scheme and much of this information is supplied by Personnel Division, at appropriate times during the member's service and on request from a member.

Judiciary

The arrangements for judicial pensions are set out in the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993. A copy of the Act can be located at the following website: www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk.

Remuneration

There is a separate pay structure for public prosecutors and judges.

Prosecutors

Prosecutors are paid according to their experience and grade. There is a range of pay bands for different grades. The starting salary for new prosecutors is currently under review but the present starting salary is £25,000.

For the most senior managers in the Department, their salaries will fall between £60,000-£100,000 depending on the responsibility of the post and the experience of the prosecutor.

There is not a difficulty with retention of prosecutors.

Judiciary

A review body undertakes an annual review of judicial salaries.

On current pay scales the most Senior Judge in Scotland attracts a salary of £176,327.00

High Court Judges will receive £143,258.00

Sheriffs who are empowered to sentence a person to a maximum of 3 years imprisonment will receive £107,408.00

It should be noted that a minimum qualification before any person can become a High Court Judge or Sheriffs that they must have completed 10 years as a solicitor or Advocate.

ETHICS AND LIABILTY OF PROSECUTORS

In Scotland, the Lord Advocate cannot be sued for damages for any act done by him on or on his behalf as public prosecutor and this absolute privilege extends to procurators fiscal and prosecutors depute acting in his name in connection with proceedings on indictment (Serious crime). In normal summary proceedings, taken on the authority of the procurator fiscal, the prosecutor is not liable in damages unless he can be shown to have acted maliciously and without probable cause.

Judges of the Supreme Court

Judges of the Supreme Court and Sheriffs as the Sovereign’s judges are immune from all action at law for damages for anything done by them in their legal capacity. [Harvey v Dyce (1876) 4.R.265].

Inferior judges, other than Sheriffs, enjoy statutory protection provided by section 170 of the 1995 Act which exempts judges, clerk of court or prosecutor from damages in respect of any proceedings taken, act done, or judgement, decree or sentence unless the person suing can aver malice and probable cause.

LAW SOCIETY CODE OF CONDUCT

In common with lawyers in most parts of the world, solicitors in Scotland have always been expected, by the general public and by their professional colleagues and others, to observe certain standards of professional conduct. The standards are required in order to establish the essential relationship of trust between lawyer and client, between lawyer and court, and between lawyer and other members of the legal profession.

All solicitors in Scotland require to be members of the Law Society of Scotland and for many years specific practice rules have been promulgated by the Society as a self-regulatory organisation for solicitors. Some of these rules have been included in Acts of Parliament and the Society's authority for promulgating additional practice rules comes from Parliament itself and the rules are subject to the consent of the Lord President of the Court of Session. These rules are binding upon solicitors. They stem from and have the force of statutory authority.

The Law of Scotland was and is founded upon principles which have the same validity and authority as Acts of Parliament. In the same way, in addition to the written rules governing solicitors in Scotland, there are other commonly accepted standards of conduct which solicitors are expected to meet.

The CCBE (Conseil des Barreaux de la Communaute Europeenne), comprising representatives of all the governing bodies of lawyers in the European Community, adopted in 1988 a Code of Conduct for lawyers within the community which governs conduct of lawyers in relation to activities crossing over from one country to another.

In addition, the CCBE Code is to be taken into account in all revisions of national rules with a view to the progressive harmonisation of codes and regulations governing lawyers within the European Community.

All the standards of professional conduct, whether contained in Acts of Parliament or in practice rules (written or unwritten) which are binding upon solicitors in Scotland are based upon certain values and principles which form the foundation of the profession and reflect the legal, moral and professional obligations of the solicitor to:

the clients; the courts and other authorities before whom a lawyer pleads his client's cause or acts on his behalf; the public; and the legal profession in general and each fellow member of it in particular.

Should any solicitor transgress any of these rules, then such transgression may give rise to disciplinary proceedings and amount to professional misconduct or some lesser finding.

A copy of the Code of Conduct is attached at Annex 8

PROSECUTORS CODE

The International Association of Prosecutors – Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and rights of Prosecutors - states “the use of prosecutorial discretion….should be exercised independently and be free from political interference” and requires prosecutors to “perform their duties without fear, favour or prejudice”

The Prosecution Code for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service sets out the criteria for decision making and the range of options available to prosecutors dealing with reports of crime. In determining whether to begin criminal proceedings, the decision must reflect the values of the department, namely:

· Impartiality

· Thoroughness

· Integrity

· Sensitivity

· Co-operation

· Professionalism

A full copy of the code can be accessed on the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service website: www.crownoffice.gov.uk

ANNEX 3

LIST OF CONTACT DETAILS OF THE SUPREME COURT
AND SHERIFF COURTS

SUPREME COURTS

EDINBURGH
PARLIAMENT HOUSE
COURT OF SESSION
PARLIAMENT HOUSE
PARLIAMENT SQUARE
EDINBURGH EH1 1RQ
DX No ED306
TEL No 0131-225-2595
FAX No 0131-240-6755
E-MAIL : Supreme.Courts@scotcourts.gov.uk

EDINBURGH
LAWNMARKET
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY
LAWNMARKET
EDINBURGH
DX No ED306
TEL No 0131-240-6900
FAX No 0131-240-6915
E-MAIL Supreme.Courts@scotcourts.gov.uk

GLASGOW
SALTMARKET JUSTICIARY BUILDINGS
SALTMARKET
GLASGOW G1 5JU
DX No 501556
TEL No 0141-559-4526
FAX No 0140-559-4519
E-MAIL Supreme.Courts@scotcourts

SHERIFF COURTS 

ABERDEEN
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
CASTLE STREET
ABERDEEN AB10 1WP
DX No AB61
TEL No 01224-657200
FAX No 01224-657234
E-MAIL Aberdeen@scotcourts.gov.uk

AIRDRIE
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
GRAHAM STREET
AIRDRIE ML6 6EE
DX No 570416
TEL No 01236-751121
FAX No 01236-747497
E-MAIL Airdrie@scotcourts.gov.uk

ALLOA
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
MAR STREET
ALLOA FK10 1HR
DX No 560433
TEL No 01259-722734
FAX No 01259-219470
E-MAIL Alloa@scotcourts.gov.uk

ARBROATH
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
TOWN HOUSE 88
HIGH STREET
ARBROATH D11 1HL
DX No 442
TEL No 01241-876600
FAX No 01241-874413
E-MAIL Arbroath@scotcourts.gov.uk

AYR
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE WELLINGTON SQUARE
AYR KA7 1EE
DX No AY16
TEL No 01292-268474
FAX No 01292-282442
E-MAIL Ayr@scotcourts.gov.uk

BANFF
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
LOW STREET
BANFF AB45 1AU
DX No 1325
TEL No 01261-812140
FAX No 01261-818394
E-MAIL Banff@scotcourts.gov.uk

CAMPBELTOWN
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
CASTLE HILL
CAMPBELTOWN PA28 6AN
DX No
TEL No 01586-552503
FAX No 01586-554967
E-MAIL Campbeltown@scotcourts.gov.uk

CUPAR
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
COUNTY BUILDINGS
ST CATHERINE'S STREET
CUPAR KY15 4LX
DX No 560545
TEL No 01334-652121
FAX No 01334-656807
E-MAIL Cupar@scotcourts.gov.uk

DINGWALL
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
FERRY ROAD
DINGWALL
ROSS-SHIRE IV15 9QX
DX No 520584
TEL No 01349-863153
FAX No 01349-863153
E-MAIL Dingwall@scotcourts.gov.uk

DORNOCH
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
CASTLE STREET
DORNOCH IV25 3FD
DX No
TEL No 01862-810224
FAX No 01862-810224
E-MAIL Dornoch@scotcourts.gov.uk

DUMBARTON
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
CHURCH STREET
DUMBARTON G82 1QR
DX No 597
TEL No 01389-763266
FAX No 01389-764085
E-MAIL Dumbarton@scotcourts.gov.uk

DUMFRIES
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE BUCCLEUCH STREET
DUMFRIES DG1 2AN
DX No 580617
TEL No 01387-262334
FAX No 01387-262357
E-MAIL Dumfries@scotcourts.gov.uk

DUNDEE
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
6 WEST BELL STREET
DUNDEE DD1 9AD
DX No DD33
TEL No 01382-229961
FAX No 01382-202006 / 01382-200380
E-MAIL Dundee@scotcourts.gov.uk

DUNFERMLINE
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
1/6 CARNEGIE DRIVE
DUNFERMLINE KY12 7HJ
DX No DF17
TEL No 01383-724666
FAX No 01383-621205
E-MAIL Dunfermline@scotcourts.gov.uk

DUNOON
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
GEORGE STREET
DUNOON PA23 8BQ
DX No 591655
TEL No 01369-704166
FAX No 01369-704367
E-MAIL Dunoon@scotcourts.gov.uk

DUNS
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
8 NEWTOWN STREET
DUNS TD11 3DU
DX No
TEL No 01361-883719
FAX No
E-MAIL Duns@scotcourts.gov.uk

EDINBURGH
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE CHAMBERS STREET
EDINBURGH EH1 1LB
DX No ED308
TEL No 0131-225-2525
FAX No 0131-225-4422
E-MAIL Edinburgh@scotcourts.gov.uk

ELGIN
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
HIGH STREET
ELGIN, MORAY IV30 1BU
DX No 520652
TEL No 01343-542505
FAX No 01343-542505
E-MAIL Elgin@scotcourts.gov.uk

FALKIRK
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
MAIN STREET
CAMELON
FALKIRK FK1 4AR
DX No FA17
TEL No 01324-620822
FAX No 01324-678238
E-MAIL Falkirk@scotcourts.gov.uk

FORFAR
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
MARKET STREET
FORFAR DD8 3LA
DX No 503674
TEL No 01307-462186
FAX No 01307-462268
E-MAIL Forfar@scotcourts.gov.uk

FORT WILLIAM
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
HIGH STREET
FORT WILLIAM PH33 6EE
DX No 531405
TEL No 01397-702087
FAX No 01397-706214
E-MAIL FortWilliam@scotcourts.gov.uk

GLASGOW
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT OF GLASGOW AND STRATHKELVIN
PO BOX 23
1 CARLTON PLACE
GLASGOW G5 9DA
DX No GW213
TEL No 0141-429-8888
FAX Numbers:
0141-4185244 (Admin)
0141-4185247 (Criminal)
0141-4185248 (Civil)
E-MAIL Glasgow@scotcourts.gov.uk

GREENOCK
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
1 NELSON STREET
GREENOCK PA15 1TR
DX No GR16
TEL No 01475-787073
FAX No 01475-729746
E-MAIL Greenock@scotcourts.gov.uk

HADDINGTON
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
COURT STREET
HADDINGTON EH41 3HN
DX No 540732
TEL No 0162082-2936
FAX No 0162082-6350
E-MAIL Haddington@scotcourts.gov.uk

HAMILTON
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
4 BECKFORD STREET
HAMILTON ML3 0BT
DX No HA16
TEL No 01698-282957
FAX No 01698-284403
E-MAIL Hamilton@scotcourts.gov.uk

INVERNESS
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
THE CASTLE
INVERNESS IV2 3EG
DX No IN25
TEL No 01463-230782
FAX No 01463-710602
E-MAIL Inverness@scotcourts.gov.uk

JEDBURGH
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE CASTLEGATE
JEDBURGH TD8 6AR
DX No 581222
TEL No 01835-863231
FAX No 01835-864110
E-MAIL Jedburgh@scotcourts.gov.uk

KILMARNOCK
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
ST MARNOCK STREET
KILMARNOCK KA1 1ED
DX No KK20
TEL No 01563-520211
FAX No 01563-543568
E-MAIL Kilmarnock@scotcourts.gov.uk

KIRKCALDY
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
WHYTESCAUSEWAY
KIRKCALDY KY1 1XQ
DX No KY17
TEL No 01592-260171
FAX No 01592-642361
E-MAIL Kirkcaldy@scotcourts.gov.uk

KIRKCUDBRIGHT
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURTHOUSE
HIGH STREET
KIRKCUDBRIGHT DG6 4JW
DX No 812
TEL No 01557-330574
FAX No 01557-331764
E-MAIL Kirkcudbright@scotcourts.gov.uk

KIRKWALL
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE WATERGATE
KIRKWALL, ORKNEY KW15 1PD
DX No  
TEL No 01856-872110
FAX No 01856-874835
E-MAIL Kirkwall@scotcourts.gov.uk

LANARK
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
HOZIER HOUSE
HYNDFORD ROAD
LANARK
DX No 832
TEL No 01555-661531
FAX No 01555-664319
E-MAIL Lanark@scotcourts.gov.uk

LERWICK
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
KING ERIK STREET
LERWICK, SHETLAND ZE1 0HD
DX No  
TEL No 01595-693914
FAX No 01595-693340
E-MAIL Lerwick@scotcourts.gov.uk

LINLITHGOW
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
HIGH STREET
LINLITHGOW EH49 7EQ
DX No 540881
TEL No 01506-842922
FAX No 01506-848457
E-MAIL Linlithgow@scotcourts.gov.uk

LOCHMADDY
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE LOCHMADDY
NORTH UIST PA82 5AE
DX No  
TEL No 01876-500340
FAX No 01876-500432
E-MAIL Lochmaddy@scotcourts.gov.uk

OBAN
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
ALBANY STREET
OBAN PA34 4AL
DX No OB8
TEL No 01631-562414
FAX No 01631-562037
E-MAIL Oban@scotcourts.gov.uk

PAISLEY
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
ST JAMES STREET
PAISLEY PA3 2AW
DX No PA48
TEL No 0141-887-5291
FAX No 0141-887-6702
E-MAIL Paisley@scotcourts.gov.uk

PEEBLES
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
HIGH STREET
PEEBLES EH45 8SW
DX No 540971
TEL No 01721-720204
FAX No 01721-729583
E-MAIL Peebles@scotcourts.gov.uk

PERTH
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
TAY STREET
PERTH PH2 8NL
DX No PE20
TEL No 01738-620546
FAX No 01738-623601
E-MAIL Perth@scotcourts.gov.uk

PETERHEAD
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
THE OLD TOWN HOUSE
BROAD STREET
PETERHEAD AB42 1BB
DX No 1376
TEL No 01779-476676
FAX No 01779-472435
E-MAIL Peterhead@scotcourts.gov.uk

PORTREE
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE SOMERLED SQUARE
PORTREE, ISLE OF SKYE IV51 9EH
DX No  
TEL No 01478-612191
FAX No 01478-613203
E-MAIL Portree@scotcourts.gov.uk

ROTHESAY
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
CASTLE STREET
ROTHESAY PA20 9HA
DX No 590655
TEL No 01700-502982
FAX No 01700-504112
E-MAIL Rothesay@scotcourts.gov.uk

SELKIRK
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
ETTRICK TERRACE
SELKIRK TD7 4LE
DX No 581011
TEL No 01750-21269
FAX No 01750-22884
E-MAIL Selkirk@scotcourts.gov.uk

STIRLING
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE VIEWFIELD PLACE
STIRLING FK8 1NH
DX No ST15
TEL No 01786-462191
FAX No 01786-470456
E-MAIL Stirling@scotcourts.gov.uk

STONEHAVEN
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
DUNNOTTAR AVENUE
STONEHAVEN AB3 2JH
DX No 521023
TEL No 01569-762758
FAX No 01569-762132
E-MAIL Stonehaven@scotcourts.gov.uk

STORNOWAY
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
LEWIS STREET
STORNOWAY, ISLE OF LEWIS HS1 2JF
DX No  
TEL No 01851-702231
FAX No 01851-704296
E-MAIL Stornoway@scotcourts.gov.uk

STRANRAER
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
LEWIS STREET
STRANRAER DG9 7AA
DX No 581261
TEL No 01776-702138
FAX No 01776-706792
E-MAIL Stranraer@scotcourts.gov.uk

TAIN
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
HIGH STREET
TAIN IV19 1AB
DX No
TEL No 01862-892518
FAX No 01862-892518
E-MAIL Tain@scotcourts.gov.uk

WICK
SHERIFF CLERK'S OFFICE
SHERIFF COURT HOUSE
BRIDGE STREET
WICK KW1 4AJ
DX No 
TEL No 01955-602846
FAX No 01955-602846
E-MAIL Wick@scotcourts.gov.uk

     

ANNEX 4

LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND

Edinburgh Office
Document Exchange:
DX ED1
Legal Post:
LP1 - EDINBURGH 1
26 Drumsheugh Gardens
Edinburgh EH3 7YR
Telephone: +44 (0) 131 226 7411
Fax: (Gp 2 & 3 ) +44 (0) 131 225 2934
EMail: lawscot@lawscot.org.uk
 
Client Relations Office Helpline
Telephone: +44 (0) 131 476 8137
Fax: +44 (0) 131 225 2934
EMail: cro@nildram.co.uk

ANNEX 5

MANAGEMENT REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS

Co-operation with other Government agencies

Service Level Agreements

The Service needs to learn to relate better to its partner organisations in the criminal justice system and to continue to work at improving its contact with communities, the provision of information to the public, and the support provided to victims and vulnerable witnesses. In particular, we recommend:

Service level agreements with the Police formalising the division of responsibilities and time scales for response and quality of delivery.

Service level agreements with the court service with a particular emphasis on timescales and length of notice.

Greater interchange of staff and stronger communication relationships with both the courts and the police, as well as with the representative organisations such as CRE and VSS.

Personnel

There should be a new dedicated board level appointment of Human Resource Director.

Additional staff should be recruited to strengthen the breadth and depth of the HR function, developing a proactive human resource strategy and higher quality, customer focused, services to managers across the Department.

Multi-Disciplinary Teams/Specialist posts

More use should be made of open plan accommodation mixing legal and non-legal staff in the same environment as part of the move to multi-functional teams.

A development and training framework for Precognition Officers should be developed.

The scope for a limited number of complex and specialist casework promoted posts for legal staff should be considered.

Training

Priority given to training in the organisation should be increased significantly and backed by the allocation of sufficient resources.

Induction training should be revisited and strengthened.

Particular priority should be given to management and communication training with this seen as a continuing objective rather than a one off.

More use should be made of full time, professional trainers.

The Service should establish a “training college” demonstrating its commitment to ongoing professional and developmental training. This might be a virtual college with a menu of options delivered by a range of training providers. There should be a strategic training function within a Directorate of Human Resources with all staff having allocated developmental advisors.

The training unit should be strengthened to support a significant improvement in the level and coverage of training across the organisation and represented appropriately on the management board by the Human Resource Director.

There should be urgent work to improve the IT competencies of staff and provide training, guidance, and greater support to staff.

Career development, recruitment and promotion

Assessment centres should be utilised for would-be Precognition Officers to test abilities against core competencies before entry to the specialism.

Opportunities should be sought to fill a proportion of promoted posts from outwith the Service.

Assessment Centres should be used in the selection process for more senior posts.

A Personnel professional should be present on all appointment and promotion boards.

Senior Civil Service appointment boards should include someone from outside the Service

.

ANNEX 6

INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION: MUTAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE

At present, Scotland operates a system of international mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, as part of the United Kingdom as a whole. The legislation which governs the legal procedures in the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990. This Act was designed to allow the UK to fulfil its obligations under the European Convention of 20 April 1959 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and to offer legal assistance to any other country, where possible and appropriate.

At present, all requests from another country for legal assistance in Scotland must be transmitted via the UK Central Authority in Home Office, London. However, legislation which is currently being drafted will allow direct transmission of requests to Scotland and will allow us to fulfil our obligations under the 2000 European Convention on Mutual Assistance and its Additional Protocol.

However, although direct transmission to Scotland will avoid any delay at Home Office, it is not intended to alter the current system in any substantial way, as it has been found to work well, once the request is actually received in Scotland. As Scotland is such a small country, it has been possible to centralise most of the expertise in one place, namely Crown Office, which is the Head Office of the Procurator Fiscal Service in Scotland. The Unit which deals with international requests is staffed by lawyers who also deal with outgoing requests for assistance and matters relating to extradition. In addition, there is a network of local prosecutors throughout Scotland who are able to assist in obtaining evidence on behalf of another country, whether by directing the police to obtain witness statements or by citing witnesses to Court to give evidence on oath, or indeed to obtain evidence under search warrant.

The Lord Advocate, as Head of the Prosecution Service, with responsibility also for the investigation of crime, is based in Crown Office and members of the Unit have ready access to him for the purposes of obtaining the necessary Nomination or Direction to a local prosecutor for the purpose of obtaining evidence.

This system differs in some significant ways from that in the rest of the UK: for example in England and Wales, the local prosecutors do not deal with incoming requests, and the UK Central Authority referred to above must send the request to either the appropriate Police Force, or, for example, to Customs and Excise, or indeed to the appropriate Magistrates Court for the purposes of citing witnesses to give evidence on oath. The system in Scotland, being highly centralised, but with the network of Prosecutors referred to, is extremely efficient in obtaining evidence, particularly in urgent cases.

Sometimes, small is beautiful!

The other principal, difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK is that, because the legal system is so different, it is much more simple and straightforward to obtain a search warrant or use other coercive measures. For example, banking evidence in England must be obtained by the appropriate Magistrates Court and by citing a witness from the Financial Institution to bring the documentation which is sought to the Court. In Scotland, we are able to obtain that by using local Procurators Fiscal and the Police. We have in fact been able on a previous occasion to obtain banking evidence and send it to the requesting state all within 24 hours of receipt of the request.

We are also able at this stage to offer to arrange for evidence to be heard in the proceedings in the requesting state by video link and we anticipate that this will increasingly become the appropriate way for foreign evidence to be admitted in criminal proceedings. It should be mentioned that this will apply to the whole of the UK once the new legislation is in force.

ANNEX 7

SECTION 95 Of the SCOTLAND ACT 1998

Appointment and removal of judges. Section 95.

(1) It shall continue to be for the Prime Minister to recommend to Her Majesty the appointment of a person as Lord President of the Court of Session or Lord Justice Clerk.

(4) It is for the First Minister, after consulting the Lord President, to recommend to Her Majesty the appointment of a person as

(a) a judge of the Court of Session (other than the Lord President or the Lord Justice Clerk), or
(b) a sheriff principal or a sheriff.

(5) The First Minister shall comply with any requirement in relation to
(a) a nomination under subsection (2), or
(b) a recommendation under subsection (4),

imposed by virtue of any enactment.

(6) A judge of the Court of Session and the Chairman of the Scottish Land Court may be removed from office only by Her Majesty; and any recommendation to Her Majesty for such removal shall be made by the First Minister.

(7) The First Minister shall make such a recommendation if (and only if) the Parliament, on a motion made by the First Minister, resolves that such a recommendation should be made.

(8) Provision shall be made for a tribunal constituted by the First Minister to investigate and report on whether a judge of the Court of Session or the Chairman of the Scottish Land Court is unfit for office by reason of inability, neglect of duty or misbehaviour and for the report to be laid before the Parliament.

(9) Such provision shall include provision
(a) for the constitution of the tribunal by the First Minister when requested by the Lord President to do so and in such other circumstances as the First Minister thinks fit, and
(b) for the appointment to chair the tribunal of a member of the Judicial Committee who holds or has held any of the offices referred to in section 103(2),

and may include provision for suspension from office.

(10) The First Minister may make a motion under subsection (7) only if-
(a) he has received from a tribunal constituted in pursuance of subsection (8) a written report concluding that the person in question is unfit for office by reason of inability, neglect of duty or misbehaviour and giving reasons for that conclusion,
(b) where the person in question is the Lord President or the Lord Justice Clerk, he has consulted the Prime Minister, and
(c) he has complied with any other requirement imposed by virtue of any enactment.

(11) In subsections (8) to (10)-
"provision" means provision by or under an Act of the Scottish Parliament,
"tribunal" means a tribunal of at least three persons.

ANNEX 8

LAW SOCIETY CODE OF CONDUCT

Independence

Independence is essential to the function of solicitors in their relationships with all parties and it is the duty of all solicitors that they do not allow their independence to be impaired irrespective of whether or not the matter in which they are acting involves litigation.

Independence means that solicitors must not allow themselves to be restricted in their acting on behalf of or in giving advice to their clients, nor must they allow themselves to be influenced by motives inconsistent with the principles of this Code. For example, solicitors must not compromise their professional standards in order to promote their own interests or the interests of parties other than their clients. Advice must not be given simply to ingratiate solicitors with their clients, courts or third parties. Non-dependent advice may be worse than useless in that it may actively encourage someone to undertake a course of action which is not in his or her best interests.

When representing clients in court solicitors appear as agents and speak for their clients, but this does not mean that they are permitted to put forward statements or arguments which they know to be untruthful or misleading. Similarly, in relation to other services solicitors, although acting as agents, must remain independent for their advice and actings to be of value.

2. The interests of the client

Solicitors must always act in the best interests of their clients subject to preserving their independence as solicitors and to the due observance of the law, professional practice rules and the principles of good professional conduct. Solicitors must not permit their own personal interests or those of the legal profession in general to influence their actings on behalf of clients; further, their actings must be free of all political considerations.

Solicitors in advising clients must not allow their advice to be influenced by the fact that a particular course of action would result in the solicitor being able to charge a higher fee. Solicitors are not permitted to buy or pay for business introductions, although commission may be paid to a fellow lawyer.

Solicitors should not allow themselves to be persuaded by clients to pursue matters or courses of action which the solicitors consider not to be in the clients' interests. It may be appropriate for solicitors to refuse to act where clients are not prepared to follow the advice given.

Where solicitors are consulted about matters in which they have a personal or a financial interest the position should be made clear to the clients and where appropriate solicitors should insist that the clients consult other solicitors. For example, neither a solicitor, nor a partner of that solicitor, is generally permitted to prepare a will for a client where the solicitor is to receive a significant legacy or share of the estate.
Solicitors are the agents of their clients and as such are not permitted to conceal any profit deriving from their actings for clients and must make known to their clients the source of any commission so arising.

3. Conflict

Solicitors (including firms of solicitors) shall not act for two or more clients in matters where there is a conflict of interest between the clients or for any client where there is a conflict between the interest of the client and that of the solicitor or the solicitor's firm.

In considering whether or not to accept instructions from more than one party and where there is potential for a conflict arising at a later date, solicitors must have regard to any possible risk of breaches of confidentiality and impairment of independence. If, having decided to proceed, a conflict should later arise solicitors must not continue to act for all the parties and in most cases they will require to withdraw from acting for all of the parties. There may, however, be certain circumstances which would result in a significant disadvantage to one party were the solicitor not to continue to act for that party and there is no danger of any breach of confidentiality in relation to the other party. In these very special cases, the solicitor may continue to act for one party.

Solicitors must accept instructions only from clients or recognised agents authorised to give instructions on behalf of the clients; for example, persons authorised by a power of attorney or another lawyer. Where a solicitor is requested to act for more than one party in respect of the same matter, the solicitor must be reasonably satisfied that there is no apparent conflict among the interests of all the parties and that each party is indeed authorising the solicitor to act.

4. Confidentiality

The observance of client confidentiality is a fundamental duty of solicitors.

This duty applies not only to the solicitors but also to their partners and staff, and the obligation is not terminated by the passage of time. This principle is so important that it is recognised by the courts as being essential to the administration of justice and to the relationship of trust which must exist between solicitor and client. Only in special circumstances may a court require a solicitor to break the obligation of confidentiality.

5. Provision of a professional service

Solicitors must provide adequate professional services.

Solicitors are under a professional obligation to provide adequate professional services to their clients. An adequate professional service requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation necessary to the matter in hand. Solicitors should not accept instructions unless they can adequately discharge these. This means that as well as being liable for damages assessable by a court of law for any act of negligence in dealing with a client's affairs, a solicitor may face disciplinary action by the Law Society in respect of a service to a client which is held to be an inadequate professional service.

(a) Solicitors must act on the basis of their clients' proper instructions or on the instructions of another solicitor who acts for the client.

Solicitors act as the agents of the clients and must have the authority of the clients for their actions.

A client may withdraw authority at any time by giving due notification to the solicitor. However, such withdrawal cannot act retrospectively.

Solicitors require to discuss with and advise their clients on the objectives of the work carried out on behalf of the clients and the means by which the objectives are to be pursued. Acceptance of instructions from clients does not constitute an endorsement or approval of the clients' political, social or moral views, activities or motivations. With the agreement of the client a solicitor may restrict the objectives and the steps to be taken consistent with the provision of an adequate professional service. A solicitor may not accept an improper instruction; for example, to assist a client in a matter which the solicitor knows to be criminal or fraudulent, but a solicitor may advise on the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct or assist a client in determining the validity, scope or application of the law.

Solicitors are free to refuse to undertake instructions, but once acting should withdraw from a case or transaction only for good cause and where possible in such a manner that the clients' interests are not adversely affected. This obligation will not, however, prevent solicitors from exercising their rights at law to recover their justified fees and outlays incurred on behalf of their clients.

(b)  A solicitor shall act only in those matters where the solicitor is competent to do so.

Where a solicitor considers that the service to a client would be inadequate owing to the solicitor's lack of knowledge or experience it would be improper for the solicitor to accept instructions and agree to act.

(c)  Solicitors shall accept instructions only where the matter can be carried out with due expedition and solicitors shall maintain appropriate systems in order to ensure that the matter is dealt with effectively.

Where a solicitor considers, for example, that the service to a client would be inadequate, owing to pressure of work or the like so that the matter would not be dealt with within a reasonable period of time, it would be improper for the solicitor to accept instructions and agree to act.

(d) Solicitors are required to exercise the level of skill appropriate to the matter.

In deciding whether or not to accept instructions from a client, and in the carrying out of those instructions, a solicitor must have regard to the nature and complexity of the matter in hand and apply to the work the appropriate level of professional skills.

(e) Solicitors shall communicate effectively with their clients and others.

Solicitors shall provide to their clients in writing at the earliest practical opportunity information in relation to:

1.The work to be carried out by the solicitor;
2.The fees and outgoings to be charged by the solicitor or basis upon which such fees and outgoings are to be charged;
3. The identity of the person or persons by whom the work will be carried out;
4. The identity of the person to whom the client should refer in the event of there being any dissatisfaction in relation to the workunless it is considered inappropriate to do so.

Solicitors are required to try to ensure that their communications with their clients and others on behalf of their clients are effective. This includes providing clients with relevant information regarding the matter in hand and the actions taken on their behalf.

Solicitors should advise their clients of any significant development in relation to their case or transaction and explain matters to the extent reasonably necessary to permit informed decisions by clients regarding the instructions which require to be given by them. Information should be clear and comprehensive and where necessary or appropriate confirmed in writing.

The duty to communicate effectively extends to include the obligation on solicitors to account to their clients in respect of all relevant monies passing through the solicitor's hands

(f)  Solicitors shall not act, nor shall they cease to act for clients summarily or without just cause, in a manner which would prejudice the course of justice.

Where the matter in issue involves the courts or otherwise involves the administration of justice, a solicitor must have regard to the course of justice in considering whether or not to cease acting on behalf of a client. The solicitor may not simply and suddenly decide that it would no longer be appropriate to act for the client and in most cases the solicitor will require to seek the agreement of the court to the withdrawal of the solicitor's services.

(g) Solicitors shall comply with the specific rules issued from time to time by the Law Society of Scotland.

Subject to the consent of the Lord President of the Court of Session the Law Society is empowered to issue specific practice rules regarding the conduct of solicitors and other matters affecting the affairs of clients. All solicitors must comply with these rules. A list of the titles of such rules currently in force is annexed to this Code.

6. Professional fees

The fees charged by solicitors shall be fair and reasonable in all the circumstances.
Factors to be considered in relation to the reasonableness of the fee include:
(a) the importance of the matter to the client;
(b) the amount or value of any money, property or transaction involved;
(c) the complexity of the matter or the difficulty or novelty of the question raised;
(d) the skill, labour, specialised knowledge and responsibility involved on the part of the solicitor;
(e) the time expended;
(f) the length, number and importance of any documents or other papers prepared or perused; and
(h)  the place where and the circumstances in which the services or any part thereof are rendered and the degree of urgency involved.

7. Trust and personal integrity

Solicitors must act honestly at all times and in such a way as to put their personal integrity beyond question.
Solicitors' actions and personal behaviour must be consistent with the need for mutual trust and confidence among clients, the courts, the public and fellow lawyers. For example, solicitors must observe the Accounts Rules which govern the manner in which clients' funds may be held by solicitors and which are designed to ensure that clients' monies are safeguarded. Solicitors who are dishonest in a matter not directly affecting their clients are nonetheless guilty of professional misconduct.

8. Relations with the courts

Solicitors must never knowingly give false or misleading information to the court and must maintain due respect and courtesy towards the court while honourably pursuing the interests of their clients.

For example, it would be improper for a solicitor to put forward on behalf of a client a statement of events or a legal argument which the solicitor knew to be false or misleading. Accordingly, if a client requests a solicitor to put forward a false story the solicitor must refuse to do so.

In the course of investigation a solicitor must not do or say anything which could affect evidence or induce a witness, a party to an action, or an accused person to do otherwise than give in evidence a truthful and honest statement of that person's recollections.

9. Relations between lawyers

Solicitors shall not knowingly mislead colleagues or where they have given their word go back on it.

A solicitor must act with fellow solicitors in a manner consistent with persons having mutual trust and confidence in each other.

It is in the public interest and for the benefit of clients and the administration of justice that there be a corporate professional spirit based upon relationships of trust and co-operation between solicitors. For example, the settlement of property transactions in Scotland is facilitated by the underlying trust between solicitors. A specific example of this is the payment of the price by a cheque drawn by the purchaser's solicitor on a joint stock bank in favour of the seller's solicitor. Were the purchaser's solicitor to instruct the bank to stop payment of the cheque such action could amount to professional misconduct.

It is not permissible for a solicitor to communicate about any item of business with a person whom the solicitor knows to be represented by another solicitor. A solicitor in such circumstances must always communicate with the solicitor acting for that person and not go behind the solicitor's back.

The rules governing the advertising of solicitors' services take into   account the need to maintain mutual trust and confidence, while permitting solicitors to market their services effectively and to compete with one another.

10. Civic professionalism

Solicitors have a duty not only to act as guardians of national liberties, but also to seek improvements in the law and the legal system.

It is the striving by solicitors for improvement both in general terms and in relation to the individual needs of a particular client that prevents the law and legal services from degenerating into a trade or mere mechanical act (Lord Cooper, Selected Papers, Edinburgh 1957, p. 77). Many solicitors fulfil this obligation through working on the many committees of the Law Society of Scotland, including those not only commenting and advising on proposed legislative changes and areas of law reform but also recommending and promoting new ideas for reform. Others are involved at the highest level with other reforming bodies and many seek public appointment, both locally and at a national level.

This duty extends beyond the issues of freedom and liberty, through the entire system of law, to the day-to-day legal services provided by solicitors.

11. Discrimination

Solicitors must not discriminate on grounds of race, sex, religion or disability in their professional dealings with clients, employees or other lawyers.
Legislation already provides that it is unlawful to discriminate against individuals either directly or indirectly in respect of their race, sex or marital status. However, solicitors should be prepared to observe not only the letter but also the spirit of the antidiscrimination legislation in dealings with clients, employees and others. In particular, solicitors should ensure that within their own firms, there is no discrimination in employment policy and that opportunities for promotion and advancement are open on an equal basis to all employees. In addition, solicitors should give active consideration to opportunities for the disabled.