We have identified over 650 questions and answers concerning many of the topics featured on this site. The information is categorised and can be reached by navigating via the entries below.

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What impact will independence have on Scotland’s courts?

The civil and criminal courts in Scotland will continue to operate after independence.

Following recommendations from the Lord President, Scotland’s most senior judge, the Scottish Government is already taking forward a programme of reforms to modernise and improve Scotland’s courts to ensure that they are fit for the 21st century.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to Scottish cases currently referred to the UK Supreme Court?

Arrangements will be made to finalise Scottish cases already referred to the UK Supreme Court. The highest courts in an independent Scotland will be the Inner House of the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary (sitting as Court of Criminal Appeal), which will be known jointly as the Supreme Court of Scotland.

The UK Supreme Court will no longer have jurisdiction in Scotland. The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg will continue to have the same jurisdiction in Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will independence mean Scotland needs new courts or new judges?

No. Independence will not result in a need for Scotland to add to its existing courts and judiciary. As at present, following independence the total number of judges will be agreed through dialogue between Scottish Ministers and the Lord President, Scotland’s most senior judge.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will tribunals change following independence?

Scotland has its own Scottish Tribunals Service and tribunal judiciary responsible for tribunals on devolved matters, such as mental health. The Scottish Government intends that following independence, tribunals for reserved matters, such as welfare benefits and employment, will become part of the tribunal structure in Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to the income from criminal justice fines?

The majority of income from fines applied in Scotland is currently transferred to Westminster under UK Treasury rules.

In an independent Scotland, this fine income will be retained by the Scottish Government and has the potential to deliver additional net income of more than £7 million per year to Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to the money recovered from criminals through proceeds of crime legislation in an independent Scotland?

Westminster currently places a cap of £30 million per year on the amount of money recovered from criminals that can be retained by the Scottish Government and used to reinvest in communities in Scotland. Westminster has refused requests to remove that cap.

In an independent Scotland there will be no cap. This means that all money recovered from criminals will be available to be reinvested in communities across Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.