The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010
28 April 2010

The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 received Royal Assent on 28 April 2010. The purpose of the Act was to make changes and in some cases dissolve a variety of public bodies and Quangos. The Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Act 2007 had provided for a body known as the Scottish Civil Enforcement Commission to be set up to take over the regulation of officers of court from the courts themselves. There was a cost to the government is setting up this body that many viewed as unnecessary. The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 repealed the sections of the 2007 Act establishing SCEC and accordingly that body never came into force.

Regulation and discipline will accordingly remain with the courts. Part 3 of the 2007 Act had dealt in detail with regulation and disciplinary matters. That part has been considerably amended to return control to the Court of Session and Sheriffs Principal. There are a number of additional changes. The Advisory Council will publish an annual report on the activities of sheriff officers and it is believed that will cover items such as recorded complaints. A statutory code of conduct will be published applicable to all officers of court. All officers of court will require to be members of a professional association.

The Act will come into force on a date to be appointed by Ministers. Much of the detail of the practical application will be in Regulations which are yet to be published and we await these with interest.