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Entries in civil courts review (1)


Lord Gill takes on top Scottish legal post

Lord GillLord Gill, the newly appointed head of the judiciary in Scotland (Lord President), gave his views on family court reform when he spoke at the launch of Families Need Fathers Scotland in November 2010.

His talk at that event concerned the major review of civil courts that he carried out in 2007-2009, which will form the basis for forthcoming law reform in Scotland.  He stressed the need for judicial continuity, case management and a focus on the issues that matter.

He commented that: "Disputes about children need to be resolved swiftly, and most disputes are capable of resolution.  As Families Need Fathers recognises, the time and energy spent in dispute would always be better spent directly on the children."

"Instead, we learned [during the Gill Review] that parties were arriving at court only to find there was no sheriff available, or that the sheriff had criminal cases to deal with first.  Starting late, the hearing might end up being split over weeks or months, increasing the cost and leaving the parties in limbo."

"They might then have to wait months for a decision.  A case might pass through the hands of any number of sheriffs, meaning sensitive information had to be explained again and again and risking inconsistent decision-making.  Of course this is a godsend for any party who actively wants to delay matters."

Families Need Fathers Scotland looks forward to these changes being implemented in coming years.