Act of Sederunt

Act of Sederunt, in Scots law, is an ordinance for regulating the forms of judicialprocedure before the Court of Session (the supreme civil court of Scotland), passed by the Lords of Session under authority of a power originally conferred by an act of the Parliament of Scotland in 1540, c. 93. The power to pass acts of sederunt was reconfirmed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in the Court of Session Act 1988. [Court of Session Act 1988: cite web|title=Part I Constitution and Administration of the Court |url=http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880036_en_2#pt2-l1g8|publisher=Office of Public Sector Information |accessdate=2007-11-22] Further powers have been added to regulate the civil procedures of the Sheriff Courts of Scotland by the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971, along with powers to set fees for Messengers-at-arms and Sheriff officers who are responsible for serving writs, decrees and diligences in Scotland. [Powers to regulate civil procedure in the Sheriff courts: cite web|title=Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 |url=http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResults.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=Sheriff+Courts+(Scotland)+Act&Year=1971&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&sortAlpha=0&TYPE=QS&PageNumber=1&NavFrom=0&activeTextDocId=1368492 |publisher=UK Statute Law Database |accessdate=2007-11-26] [The Court of Session may from time to time, by Act of Sederunt, make such regulations, for regulating the fees of agents: cite web|title=Section 40 of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907 |url=http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=Sheriff+Courts&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&sortAlpha=0&TYPE=QS&PageNumber=1&NavFrom=0&parentActiveTextDocId=2443469&ActiveTextDocId=2443517&filesize=6460 |publisher=UK Statute Law Database |accessdate=2007-11-26] [Powers of messengers-at-arms, sheriff officers and power to set fees: cite web|title=Execution of Diligence (Scotland) Act 1926 |url=http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=Execution+of+Diligence&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&sortAlpha=0&TYPE=QS&PageNumber=1&NavFrom=0&parentActiveTextDocId=1082787&ActiveTextDocId=1082789&filesize=23822 |publisher=UK Statute Law Database |accessdate=2007-11-26]

A quorum of nine judges is required to pass an act of Sederunt. [Encyclopdia Britannica, 14th Edition: cite web|title=Act of Sederunt|url=http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/SCY_SHA/SEDERUNT_ACT_OF.html|publisher=Online Encydlopedia |accessdate=2007-11-21] Sederunt is a term used for the meeting or session of a court. [Dictionary of Difficult Words: cite web|title=Sederunt|url=http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/dictionaries/difficultwords/data/d0011679.html|publisher=Dictionary of Difficult Words |accessdate=2007-11-21]

Purposes of acts of sederunt

The Court of Session 1988 has an exhaustive list of how the court may regulate procedure and allocate business via acts of sederunt. The fees for Messengers-at-Arms (court officers), solicitors practising before the court, timings of certain appeals, the form of summons, writs, petitions, etc. are examples of procedures regulated by these acts. They also determine certain business which should be laid on the respective rolls and before the Inner House or Outer House, and laying certain powers of trustees. [Court of Session Act 1988: cite web|title=Part II General Powers of the Court in Relation to Procedure |url=http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880036_en_2#pt2-l1g8|publisher=Office of Public Sector Information |accessdate=2007-11-22]

Rules of the Court of Session

Rules for the functioning of the Court of Session are generally decided upon by the Rules Council of the Court, which was instituted by the Administration of Justice (Scotland) Act 1933 and reconfirmed by the Court of Session Act 1988. The Council consists of the Lord President of the Court of Session "(ex officio)", two other Lords of Session appointed by the Lord President, five advocates appointed by the Faculty of Advocates, and five solicitors appointed by the Council of the Law Society of Scotland. They formulate rules and pass them to the Court as an Act of Sederunt for approval. [Membership and powers: cite web|title=Court of Session Rules Council |url=http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/session/rules_council.asp|publisher=Scottish Courts Service |accessdate=2007-11-22]

Rules of the Sheriff courts

Rules for the functioning of civil procedure in the Sheriff courts are recommended by the Sheriff Courts Rules Council, which was instituted by the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971. This Council's membership comprises: two sheriffs principal, three sheriffs, one advocate, five solicitors, two (whole-time) sheriff clerks and two further members, all appointed by the Lord President and a further member appointed by the Scottish Ministers.

Enacting formulae

Acts of Sederunt, link other legislation in the United Kingdom, is introduced by enacting formulae. Those for the regulation of procedure in the Court of Session begin:

Those for the regulation of procedure in the Sheriff courts begin:

Those for setting the fees of Messengers-at-arms are enacted:

Those for setting the fees of Sheriff officers are enacted:

References


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