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Simple Procedure Changes Proposed

The Faculty of Advocates has suggested that draft rules for the new Simple Procedure in the sheriff court could be made simpler.

The Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC) asked for views on the rules and the Faculty made a number of points in its response.

Simple Procedure is designed to be speedy, inexpensive and informal, and is intended to be used mainly by non-lawyers.

The Faculty was content that the term “claimant” should be used in the rules, but wondered why “responding party” rather than simply “respondent” had been chosen.

“(Respondent) is the term used in some forms of court procedure already, and also in the Employment Tribunal, where appearances by unrepresented parties are commonplace,” said the Faculty.

It was not keen on the use of “freeze” for sist, pointing out that “freeze” was used elsewhere in the UK in “freezing injunction”.

The Faculty said: “There is a risk of confusion, either from those involved with proceedings both within and outwith Scotland, and perhaps more commonly, with those who attempt to research court procedure on the internet. We would suggest ‘pause’ and ‘unpause’.”

Another suggestion was worked examples of claim and response forms to “assist those not used to completing legal documents.”

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