§ Mr. Murphy
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland if he will list the main policy achievements of the Lord Advocate's Department since May 1979.
§ The Solicitor-General for Scotland
As the Government's chief legal adivsers as regards Scotland, the Lord Advocate and I have participated in many of the achievements mentioned by my colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Achievements since May 1979 which I might list include: 392W
- (a) a comprehensive reform of the rules of jurisdiction in the courts of Scotland effected by the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982;
- (b) the introduction in January 1983 of a simplified procedure in certain categories of divorce action in the Court of Session;
- (c) the introduction in June 1983 of the system set up by the Transport Act 1982 whereby procurators fiscal can offer fixed penalties for the commission of minor road traffic offences as an alternative to prosecution;
- (d) the promotion and implementation of the Divorce Jurisdiction, Court Fees and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1983 which gives the sheriff concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Session in actions for divorce and removes in certain undefended divorce actions the requirements for corroborated evidence, thus enabling further simplification of those actions in the Court of Session and the sheriff court; and
- (e) the promotion of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1980 which makes various improvements and amendments in the jurisdiction and procedure of the courts including provisions for remits from the sheriff to the Court of Session and enabling Court of Session judges to act as arbiters in commercial disputes.