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Justice Committee Expresses Concerns Over Court Reform

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee published a report today on a Bill proposing major changes to the Scottish civil justice system, which includes the establishment of a specialist Scotland-wide personal injury court.

Although it broadly welcomes the aim of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill to provide the public with a more efficient court service, it raises concerns that an increase in the monetary threshold for bringing a case in the sheriff court from £5,000 to £150,000 may restrict access to justice and put too much pressure on the court’s resources.

Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP said:

“There can be no doubt from the evidence we heard that reform of the Scottish civil court system is long overdue. However, our Committee is not convinced that some of the measures in the Bill will necessarily achieve what is hoped.

“Improving access to justice is a key part of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill. Freeing up the Court of Session to deal with the most complex and serious cases is a step in the right direction. However, raising the monetary threshold from £5,000 to the proposed £150,000 raised questions about whether this is too great a leap.”

The Committee also asked the Scottish Government to make assurances that there wont be a substantial rise in the level of court fees to pay for the reforms in the Bill. The fees payable for submitting applications to a court in Scotland and for lodging documents at different stages of the court procedure were recently amended and will be subject to review again in March next year. At McCarthy Law, we can provide you with information on whether your personal circumstances mean you are exempt from paying fees.

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Contact our specialist team of solicitors at McCarthy Law for help and advice about how the recent court reforms may impact any legal issues you may have on 0141 337 6678 or email us at