Coronavirus (COVID-19) implications for dispute resolution in Scotland
Coronavirus (COVID-19) implications for dispute resolution in Scotland

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) implications for dispute resolution in Scotland
  • Coming to court during COVID-19
  • Contacting the court during COVID-19
  • Remote hearings during COVID-19
  • Court of Session Inner House (CSIH)
  • Court of Session Outer House (CSOH)
  • Sheriff appeal court
  • Sheriff court
  • Filing documents in Scottish civil courts during COVID-19
  • Court of Session
  • More...

Members of the public are normally welcome to visit the courts and tribunals in Scotland for many reasons, including to support those involved with disputes and to uphold the key legal principle that justice must be seen to be done.

However, although the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has emphasised the importance of maintaining the essential services that the court system provides by continuing to process disputes in order to support justice during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it also recognises its responsibility at this time to contribute to the nationwide effort to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Therefore, to keep the number of people in court to a minimum so that safe social distancing practices can be observed, those not directly involved with court proceedings are asked not to come to court until further notice, although journalists are now welcome. Furthermore, the courts have taken steps to limit the number of cases being heard and more recently to ensure that cases are conducted remotely where possible.

Therefore, while the courts have adjourned or sisted civil business where appropriate, some courts continue to be open in order to hear essential cases in the court buildings themselves.

On 24 April 2020, SCTS issued a statement (Sheriff Court Civil Business, 24 April 2020) summarising the courts’ approach at this time and in which it reiterated its responsibility to follow

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