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New courts open 23/09/2015 The new Criminal Sheriff Appeal Court and Sheriff Personal Injury Court opened their doors yesterday, marking the start of the new legal year and a major change in the Scottish justice system.

New courts open

The new Criminal Sheriff Appeal Court and Sheriff Personal Injury Court opened their doors yesterday, marking the start of the new legal year and a major change in the Scottish justice system.

The measures are part of a package of reforms to Scotland’s court system heralded by the Scottish Civil Courts Review. This found that the Scottish civil courts provided a service to the public that was slow, inefficient and expensive. It recommended the establishment of these new courts as part of the solution of ensuring an efficient civil courts system.

The Criminal Sheriff Appeal Court is a new appeal court that will hear summary criminal appeals from Justice of the Peace and sheriff courts. It will also hear bail appeals in summary or solemn proceedings from these courts. An onward appeal to the High Court will be available subject to a strict test.

The Sheriff Personal Injury Court, located at Edinburgh sheriff court, will provide a new central forum of expertise for personal injury cases, including specialist personal injury sheriffs, specialist personal injury court procedures and civil jury trials.

Other measures that have also come into force include raising the threshold below which only the sheriff court can deal with civil cases to £100,000 and introducing changes to the procedures for Judicial Review and certain appeals to the UK Supreme Court.

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