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JD Circular No. JD/2/2009 The Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform)(Scotland) Act 2007 (Commencement No. 6) Order 2008

DescriptionJustice Circular detailing commencement relating to court unification in Tayside, Central and Fife on 23 February 2009 of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland)Act 2007.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateFebruary 23, 2009

Criminal Justice Directorate

Criminal Procedure Division

Circular No: JD/02/2009

Distribution by email as per list at Annex A

10 February 2009

Dear Sir/Madam


I am writing to draw your attention to certain provisions of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 ("the Act"), which will come into force on Monday 23 February 2009. The Act itself and its explanatory notes may be accessed at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/acts2007/20070006.htm .

A copy of the Commencement Order is attached (PDF format) to the covering email for this circular - it can also be accessed at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2008/ssi_20080362_en_1.


The following sections of the Act are brought into force for the fourth phase of court unification, in Tayside, Central and Fife, on 23 February 2009. Where a provision is commenced for a particular purpose, that is specified in the Order itself.

JP Courts

(a) Section 59 (Establishing JP courts).

(b) Section 62 (Area and territorial jurisdiction of JP courts).

Provision is made for the jurisdiction and establishment of JP courts, certain of the unification provisions having been previously commenced in order to allow suitable forward planning. These sections are brought into force for the purposes of unification in Tayside, Central and Fife, and will be commenced for each other sheriffdom upon unification in that area.

Lay Justice

(a) Subsections 68(4) and (5) (Conditions of office).

(b) Section 74 (Appointment of stipendiary magistrates).

(c) Section 75 (Stipendiary magistrates: further provision).

(d) Subsections 77(2), (3) and (5) (Records and validity of appointment etc.).

The majority of the lay justice provisions were commenced in December 2007. These provisions are commenced for Tayside, Central and Fife only, and relate to the payment of JP expenses, and the terms of appointment of stipendiary magistrates.

Schedule to the Act and section 80 - modification of enactments

(a) Paragraphs 4, 7, 9, 20(3)(b), 22, 25(a) and (d), 26, 27, 30(a) and 32(b) and (c).

These provisions make consequential and other minor amendments to the following enactments:

The Education (Scotland) Act 1980

The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

The Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

The Bail, Judicial Appointments etc. (Scotland) Act 2000

The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003

The Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004.

(b) Subparagraphs 33(1) and (2):

Provisions regarding interpretation of statutory references to district courts.


Court unification in the Sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife

(a) The Justice of the Peace Courts (Sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife) Order 2008 was laid before Parliament on 7 November 2008. The provisions of the Order relating to the transfer of staff and enabling citation of accused persons and witnesses to JP courts came into force on 1 December, allowing court business to be arranged in those courts ahead of unification in that area on 23 February 2009. The remaining provisions for the establishment of the JP court, the disestablishment of the district courts in the sheriffdom will enter into force on 23 February 2009. The Order is available at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2008/ssi_20080363_en_1.

(b) The Justice of the Peace Courts (Sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife) Amendment Order 2009 was laid before Parliament on 23 January and is expected to enter into force on 23 February. The Order makes provision for the transfer, of two properties to the Scottish Ministers. The property to be transferred from Dundee City Council is a building in which the Dundee JP court will sit from 23 February onwards, and is the building in which Dundee District Court currently sits. The property to be transferred from Fife Council is a building in which the Kirkcaldy JP court will sit from 23 February and is one of the buildings in which the Fife District Court currently sits. The Order is available at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2009/ssi_20090020_en_1.

Further Commencement Orders

The provisions commencing on 23 February relate to court unification. We intend to continue to commence these provisions on a sheriffdom-by-sheriffdom basis, at each stage of unification.


Should you have any queries in relation to any of the above, please contact the Law Reform and General branch through the details provided at the top of this circular. Further information in relation the Act and its implementation is also available on the Scottish Government's Summary Justice Reform website, available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/criminal/criminalprocedure/19008.

Yours faithfully

G Bonnar

Gerard Bonnar

Head of Law Reform and General Branch

Scottish Government Criminal Procedure Division

Annex A - Distribution List

Lord Justice General

Lord Justice Clerk

Sheriffs Principal

Sheriffs Association


Faculty of Advocates

The Principal Clerk of Session & Justiciary

Director of Judicial Studies

Crown Agent

Law Society of Scotland

Chief Executive, Scottish Courts Service

Sheriff Clerks

Scottish Justices Association

Sheriffdom Legal Advisers

District Court Clerks

JP Court Legal Advisers

Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission

Directors of Social Work

Chief Officers, Community Justice Authorities

Citizens Advice Scotland

Area Procurators Fiscal

Scottish Prison Service

Sue Moody - COPFS Victim and Equality Unit

David McKenna - Victim Support Scotland

Louise Johnson - Victims' forum

Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)

Clerk, Justice Committee, Scottish Parliament