All-Scotland Personal Injury Court

A New Era

In September 2015, a new type of court was established in Scotland specifically for claims by victims of accidents. The All-Scotland Personal Injury Court is unusual because, unlike other Sheriff Courts, the specialist personal injury court has jurisdiction to hear cases from anywhere in Scotland. The court itself sits in Edinburgh. Its purpose is to provide a specialist court, presided over by specialist Sheriffs, where cases can be run by expert personal injury lawyers.

Widespread changes

The opening of this new court coincided with changes which meant that the vast majority of personal injury court actions can no longer be raised in the Court of Session. It is now well over a year that the court has been in operation and LawWin’s team has extensive experience in conducting cases through it. Our experience reflected the recognised fact that there were initially some problems with the court handling the volume of cases (well over 2000 cases in the first year) but those problems are reducing. The Sheriffs tend to ensure that cases are progressed as quickly as possible. As with any new project, there have been minor teething problems, particularly over procedural timescales, which are being addressed.

Jury trials possible

A particular feature of this court is that actions can be heard by a Jury, rather than a Judge sitting alone. That is a new feature in the Sheriff Court in Civil cases although so far not one that has been particularly widely used. LawWin’s team continues to take a close and active interest engaging in the conduct of cases in the court.