A sheriffdom is a judicial district in Scotland.

Since 1 January 1975 there have been six sheriffdoms. Previously sheriffdoms were composed of groupings of counties. New boundaries defined sheriffdoms in reference to regions, districts and islands areas which were then to be created on 16 May 1975. [The Sheriffdoms Reorganisation Order 1974 S. I. 1974/2087 (S.191)] The sheriffdoms were redefined again with effect from 1 April 1996, when new local government areas were created. [ [ The Sheriffdoms (Alteration of Boundaries) Order 1996 S. I. 1996/1006 (S.109)] ] The boundaries of four sheriffdoms were unchanged. The boundaries of the other two were altered, so as to transfer an area around Chryston from the sheriffdom of Glasgow and Strathkelvin to the sheriffdom of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway. Elsewhere boundaries were simply redefined by reference to new local authority areas and electoral wards. [ [ Explanatory note, The Sheriffdoms (Alteration of Boundaries) Order 1996] ]

Each sheriffdom has a full-time Sheriff Principal. Sheriffdoms are divided into Sheriff Court Districts, each with one or more sheriff.

Sheriffdoms were the origin of the counties of Scotland.

In the 19th century, the sheriffdoms were grouped, and the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica reports that there were only 15 sheriffs of Scotland. []

Notes and references

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