The Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC) is undertaking a comprehensive review of Scotland’s civil procedure rules applicable in its civil courts. This follows the 2009 Scottish Civil Courts Review, in which a comprehensive review and rewrite of Scotland’s civil procedure rules (CPR) was recommended.

In May 2017 the SCJC published The New Civil Procedure Rules First Report setting out its recommendations. In the report they emphasise that a balance needs to be struck between modernising our CPR, in order that they are readily understandable and effective, and protecting historic elements of Scotland’s system which are perceived to have continuing utility. Consequently, reform will be ad hoc rather than wholesale.

A timetable has been set out by the SCJC, which anticipates the introduction of new CPR in 2019 or 2020. Over the next two to three years the SCJC intends to: tour the country, giving presentations and encouraging discussion and feedback with both lay people and legal professionals; publish a second report containing draft rules, and hold a consultation on those draft rules. At this stage we have only the initial recommendations of principle from the SCJC, which give us some indication of the direction we may be moving in.

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Originally published in The Expert and Dispute Resolver Vol 22 No 2

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