Lord Gill’s Scottish Civil Courts Review (The Gill Review)

In 2007, the then Lord Justice Clerk, the Rt Hon Lord Gill, published his report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review. The review tackled, amongst other things, access to civil justice and the promotion of early resolution of disputes.

While the Report contained many admirable recommendations in relation to better management of cases and training, there were two which gave us cause for concern. Firstly, that a new judicial office should be created, that of district judge, now referred to as “summary sheriffs”, which would fit below the level of sheriff and above Justices of the Peace. They would sit in the sheriff court and would hear summary criminal business and civil business including appeals and referrals from the children’s hearing. Our concern is that any civil or criminal case involving domestic abuse should not be deprioritised to summary sheriffs and must continue to be heard by a sheriff. 

The second was the recommendation relating to the use of mediation as a first step to resolve civil disputes. This raised particular concerns for Scottish Women’s Aid, as we were keen that the justice system recognised that domestic abuse could not be classed as a dispute - civil or otherwise.

We responded to the Scottish Government’s proposals in taking the Gill Review recommendations forward and have been in discussion with the Scottish Government on the issues we highlighted and the other reforms to civil justice and procedure.  One of the areas of reform referred to the creation of a new Scottish Civil Justice Council which is currently before the Scottish Parliament as a Bill. We gave oral and written evidence to the Justice Committee at Stage One of the Bill.

Read our response to the initial Scottish Civil Courts Review consultation.
Read our submission to the Scottish Government on their proposals in response to the Review Report Recommendations.
Read our written submission to the Justice Committee on the Scottish Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Aid Bill.
Read our oral evidence to the Justice Committee 

Read our response to the Scottish Court Service consultation Shaping Scotland’s Court Services ; a public consultation on proposals for  a court structure for the future

Response to the Justice Committee’s call for written views on the Scottish Court Service recommendations on a future court service

Read our response to Making Justice Work; Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill Consultation Paper

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Current Activities

Non-consensual sharing of intimate media (NCSIM) is a form of abuse

Read the results of our survey on NCSIM (otherwise known as "revenge porn")



Facts & Figures

In 81% of cases of domestic abuse there is a female victim and male perpetrator (SCS 2012)


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