Sheriff Court

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In Scots law, a Sheriff Court has jurisdiction to hear both civil and criminal cases. Each court presides over one of forty-nine sheriff court districts, which are distrubuted across six 'sheriffdoms' (Grampian, Highlands and Islands; Tayside Central and Fife; Lothian and Borders; Glasgow and Strathkelvin; North Strathclyde; and finally South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway).

Judges sitting in the courts bear the (appropriate) title of sheriff. Further, each sheriffdom is administrated by a 'sheriff principal', who also preside over the appealed decisions of sheriffs in civil matters (barring those that are appealed directly to the Court of Session).

When hearing a criminal case, the court will either follow 'summary procedure', wherein a sheriff sits alone to determine the legal issues, or 'solemn procedure', which requires a jury of fifteen to hear and decide on the outcome of the case. The latter is applied where more serious offences are being considered. Criminal cases can be appealed to the High Court in its capacity as an appellate court.

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