Some Scottish law and legal system links
This page is written as a set of 'black-letter' links, rather than as a general and comprehensive Scottish legal portal. At least three other sites perform that function very well; the new Scottish Council of Law Reporting website, Iain Nisbet's Absolvitor.com and Kevin Crombie's Scottish Law Online. Anyone searching for Scots law on the web should find it in one of these if it's there to be found. Govan Law Centre has a good welfare law set of links. Delia Venables has another very full listing of legal websites with commentary, particularly strong for its listing of solicitors websites. The Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Executive, and the Office of Public Sector Information (formerly HMSO) have vast searchable resources. I have identified the Scottish Courts Service more useful resources separately, both below and elsewhere; see search page.
- Scottish Bills in progress here.
- Scottish Acts of Parliament here.
- Scottish Statutory Instruments here.
- UK Acts of Parliament since 1988 here (earlier Acts are unavailable).
- UK Statutory Instruments since 1987 here (earlier orders are unavailable).
- A collection of links associated with the Scotland Act here.
The above materials are all published as enacted and unamended. The Department of Constitutional Affairs is responsible for publishing the Statute Law Database, which will show all primary legislation with amendments, and all secondary legislation as first enacted. For a number of years it has predicted that this would be published in about a year. At the end of 2004, the ETA was mid-2005. This has now slipped again, and it now seems that it is unlikely that it will be made available to the public in any form before the beginning of 2006 at the earliest. It is expected that a basic online service will be free of charge, but viewing amendments may be charged for (!). See (added 25 March 2005) the DCA's response to a Freedom of Information Act request as to progress and policy.
See (newly added) the Faculty of Advocates evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Inquiry on the Regulatory Framework in Scotland for the background, and argument for a new approach to the drafting and publication of Scottish legislation, and oral evidence to the same effect.
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- The most recent Court of Session and High Court decisions here; for all decisions since September 1998, search by name or date or by keyword. Note, incidentally, the 2004 Practice Note on Neutral Citation.
- UK and Irish caselaw as a whole is most easily searched for at BAILII, but this can be a little out of date.
- Privy Council decisions here.
- House of Lords decisions here.
- European Court of Justice here.
- European Court of Human Rights here.
- Sheriff Court (very patchy, left to individual sheriffs) here.
- Employment Appeal Tribunal here.
- Social Security Commissioners here.
- Immigration Appellate Authority here.
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- Court of Session: The index to the Rules of Court is here, but the Rules do not seem to have been updated for some time. To search them, use the search page on this site. The SCS website has a list of recent amending provisions, which includes some but not all recent amendments to the Rules; thus recent changes to immigration challenges have not been noted although on the Statutory Instruments website.
- Sheriff Court Ordinary, summary cause, and small claim rules are downloadable from the SCS website, but are also not kept up to date.
- A map showing Sheriff Court districts, with court addresses and telephone numbers, is here.
- For criminal procedure, there is a helpful introduction on the Minitrials site run by Lord Kinclaven; see also 'High Court Reform Programme'.
- Keeping up to date: Professor Hector MacQueen's blog, Scots Law News, is eclectic and comprehensive; the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland provides not only a news column but the entire magazine as it is published; Firm Magazine, which in 2004 published league table of sheriffs and Senators (see also response), is less respectful to constituted authority. Scott Blair's blog is new but looks promising.
- Ogden tables, November 2004 (fifth) edition (pdf).
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