September 2015 saw key provisions of the Act coming into force, marking the beginning of a process of change which will provide a new framework for personal injury litigation in Scotland.
Our comprehensive update on what this means on a practical basis for insurer clients is now available by clicking here.
A brief round-up of the provisions which have been implemented are as follows:-
1. New Privative Limit for Actions in the Sheriff Court
The exclusive jurisdiction of the Sheriff Court has been raised to £100,000 - actions with a value not exceeding that amount must be raised in the Sheriff Court.
2. Sheriff Personal Injury Court (SPIC)
The specialized Sheriff Personal Injury Court (SPIC), based in Edinburgh has now opened its doors for business with jurisdiction over the whole of Scotland. Parties have the choice between raising an action at their local Sheriff Court or in the SPIC.
The SPIC will have jurisdiction over actions for damages arising from personal injuries or the death of a person in which:
- the sum sought exceeds £5000 or;
- the proceedings concern an accident at work for damages exceeding £1,000 or;
- a Sheriff has certified that the importance or complexities of the proceedings make it appropriate for transferring to the SPIC.
3. Civil Jury Trials
The new Rules allow for Civil Jury Trials to be heard in the SPIC, along with introducing a streamlined e-mail procedure for dealing with Court motions.
4. Sheriff Appeals Court – Criminal and Civil Cases
The new national Sheriff Appeal Court are dealing with appeals from the Sheriff Court for criminal cases and will do so for all appeals in the course of 2016.
5. Court of Session and Supreme Court Appeals
New procedures for bringing appeals to the Inner House of the Court of Session and for some appeals to the UK Supreme Court are also in force.
6. Judicial Review
A three-month time limit for bringing Judicial Reviews in the Court of Session now takes effect.
What to look forward to…
- Replacement of existing Small Claims and Summary Cause procedures with the new “Simple Procedure”
- Introduction of Summary Sheriffs to hear cases brought under the new Simple Procedure.
- Sheriff Appeal Court to start hearing civil appeals