Everyone has part to play, says Lord President in installation address

08 Jan


Lord Carloway has been installed as President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General at ceremonies in packed courtrooms in Parliament House.

In a short address, Lord Carloway said a successful Scottish legal system depended on everyone’s participating in its constant re-evaluation.

“This does not mean that we all require to agree on the best way forward. We will never achieve that level of perfect harmony in Parliament House,” he stated.

“If we can all, however, engage in discussing where the problems lie and attempt to devise practical solutions for them, the system will begin to match public expectations in the 21st Century. I look forward to working with everyone willing to do so in achieving that end.”

Lord Carloway spoke of a rebalancing of civil work through such reforms as the Sheriff Appeal Court and the All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injuries Court, with the result that the Court of Session ought to be engaged primarily in cases appropriate to the supreme civil court of Scotland.

“There will be continued work to increase accessibility to the courts, including the Court of Session. This will involve a determined drive towards more sustainable procedures with the introduction in the near future of what will in effect be the electronic process,” added Lord Carloway.

On the criminal side, he noted a 60 per cent increase over the last four years in the number of High Court trials.

“There has been concern expressed about the extension of time limits…The issue for the future will be whether, in the era of statutory disclosure, scientific analysis of DNA findings and the recovery and detailed scrutiny of text and email messaging, the narrow window allowed by statute for the commencement of a trial is sustainable or in accord with modern principles of fairness or justice,” he said.

The address is at http://www.scotland-judiciary.org.uk/Upload/Documents/LPSpeechInstallationFriday8January2016_1.pdf