Publication - Statistics

Civil justice statistics in Scotland 2017-2018

Published: 2 Apr 2019
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order, Statistics
ISBN:
9781787817029

The 2017-2018 Civil Justice in Scotland release includes main statistics tables, figures and supplementary statistics tables.

5. Statistical tables

Table 1: Civil law cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the Court of Session 2 , sheriff courts 3 and Sheriff Personal Injury Court 4 , 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 2: Cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the Court of Session, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 3: Cases 1 initiated and disposed of 2 in the sheriff courts 3 , by procedure, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 4: Cases 1 initiated and disposed of 2 in the sheriff courts 3 , by sheriffdom, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 5: Family procedure cases 1 initiated and disposed of 2 in the civil courts 3 , by case type, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 6: Family procedure cases initiated and disposed 1 of in the Court of Session 2 , by case type 2017-18

Table 7: Family procedure cases initiated and disposed 1 of in the sheriff courts, by case type 2017-18

Table 8: Family-related summary application cases initiated and disposed of 1,2 , by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Table 9: Divorces granted 1 in the civil courts by procedure, 2011-12 to 2017-18

Table 10: Dissolutions granted 1 in the civil courts by procedure, 2011-12 to 2017-18

Table 11: Debt cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the civil courts, by case type, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 12: Debt cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the civil courts, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Table 13: Personal injury cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the civil courts 2 , by case type, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 14: Personal injury cases 1 initiated and disposed 2 of in the Court of Session 3 , 2017-18

Table 15: Ordinary cause personal injury cases initiated and disposed of 1,2 in the sheriff courts 3 , 2017-18

Table 16: Summary cause personal injury cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the sheriff courts 2 , 2017-18

Table 17: Civil law cases initiated and disposed of 1,2 in the Sheriff Personal Injury Court 3 , 2015-16 to 2017-18

Table 18: Damages cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the civil courts, by case type, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 19: Damages cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the civil courts, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Table 20: Repossession cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the sheriff courts, by procedure, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 21: Summary application repossession cases initiated and disposed of 1,2 in the sheriff courts, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Table 22: Eviction cases initiated and disposed of 1 in the sheriff courts, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 23: Summary cause eviction cases initiated and disposed of 1,2 in the sheriff courts, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Table 24: Petitions for judicial review initiated and disposed of 1,2 in the Petition Department of the Court of Session, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 25: Civil law appeals initiated and disposed of 1 in the Sheriff Appeal Court 2 , 2015-16 to 2017-18

Table 26: Civil law applications 1 to the Court of Session for permission (leave) to appeal to UK Supreme Court, 2015-16 to 2017-18

Table 27: Civil law cases initiated in the Court of Session 1 , sheriff courts 2 and Sheriff Personal Injury Court 3 , 2008-09 to 2017-18

Table 28: Civil Legal Aid Grants 1, 2 , 2012-13 to 2017-18

Table 1: Civil law cases initiated and disposed of in the Court of Session, sheriff courts and Sheriff Personal Injury Court, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Court of Session 5,329 6,102 5,141 4,718 4,911 4,561 5,164 4,358 2,251 2,279 1 -57
Sheriff courts 126,304 111,737 92,308 80,502 72,510 72,511 71,605 72,220 68,433 75,623 11 -40
Sheriff Personal Injury Court z z z z z z z 1,143 2,956 3,282 11 z
All courts 131,633 117,839 97,449 85,220 77,421 77,072 76,769 77,721 73,640 81,184 10 -38
Disposed Court of Session 4,022 4,356 4,295 4,856 4,712 4,911 4,782 4,405 3,162 2,564 -19 -36
Sheriff courts 111,541 104,831 87,504 77,147 68,781 65,356 65,805 66,232 62,370 63,994 3 -43
Sheriff Personal Injury Court z z z z z z z 172 1,363 2,541 86 z
All courts 115,563 109,187 91,799 82,003 73,493 70,267 70,587 70,809 66,895 69,099 3 -40

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. First instance business only – excludes appeals and reclaiming motions.

3. Excludes summary applications.

4. Sheriff Personal Injury Court was established on 22 September 2015.

5. z refers to data not being applicable.

Table 2: Cases initiated and disposed of in the Court of Session, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Court of Session department Cases 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
General Department Initiated 3,736 4,429 3,688 3,354 3,536 3,258 3,812 2,922 1,005 933 -7 -75
Disposed 2,961 3,167 3,187 3,455 3,405 3,656 3,582 3,123 1,871 1,234 -34 -58
Petition Department Initiated 1,473 1,555 1,358 1,223 1,211 1,179 1,213 1,268 1,083 1,201 11 -18
Disposed 988 1,094 1,035 1,299 1,191 1,126 1,062 1,136 1,157 1,186 3 20
Inner House2 Initiated 120 118 95 141 164 124 139 168 163 145 -11 21
Disposed 73 95 73 102 116 129 138 146 134 144 7 97
Total Initiated 5,329 6,102 5,141 4,718 4,911 4,561 5,164 4,358 2,251 2,279 1 -57
Disposed 4,022 4,356 4,295 4,856 4,712 4,911 4,782 4,405 3,162 2,564 -19 -36

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. First instance business only – excludes appeals and reclaiming motions.

Table 3: Cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, by procedure, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases Procedure 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Ordinary cause 46,477 42,823 34,123 26,021 24,957 24,026 23,628 23,212 22,672 22,620 0 -51
Summary cause4 32,736 27,464 23,799 22,783 18,510 18,852 20,624 22,160 20,214 18,057 -11 -45
Small claim4, 5 47,091 41,450 34,386 31,698 29,043 29,633 27,353 26,848 18,857 32 -100 -100
Simple procedure4 z z z z z z z z 6,690 34,914 z z
Total initiated 126,304 111,737 92,308 80,502 72,510 72,511 71,605 72,220 68,433 75,623 11 -40
Disposed Ordinary cause 38,902 33,911 29,768 23,410 20,733 19,575 18,768 19,102 17,210 16,123 -6 -59
Summary cause4 31,231 27,568 24,036 22,434 19,831 17,876 18,984 20,638 20,557 16,647 -19 -47
Small claim 41,408 43,352 33,700 31,303 28,217 27,905 28,053 26,492 23,571 1,327 -94 -97
Simple procedure4 z z z z z z z z 1,032 29,897 z z
Total disposed 111,541 104,831 87,504 77,147 68,781 65,356 65,805 66,232 62,370 63,994 3 -43

1. Excludes summary applications.

2. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

3. Excludes Sheriff Personal Injury Court.

4. The first phase of simple procedure replaced the small claims and the more straightforward cases under summary cause procedure from 28 November 2016. More complex summary cause cases will move during phase two of simple procedure in due course.

5. There are still a small number of small claims cases being registered, mainly under the EU small claims procedure.

Table 4: Cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, by sheriffdom, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases Sheriffdom 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09 2017-18 cases per 1,000 population4
Initiated Tayside, Central and Fife 22,456 20,204 16,816 14,759 14,006 13,590 13,806 13,478 12,263 14,163 15 -37 13
Glasgow and Strathkelvin 24,919 22,389 17,784 16,305 14,313 13,433 11,517 11,853 12,514 14,074 12 -44 19
South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway 22,949 19,457 16,869 14,171 12,968 12,870 12,929 14,028 13,404 14,337 7 -38 16
Lothian and Borders 24,469 21,439 16,211 14,148 11,554 11,755 13,022 12,552 11,016 12,587 14 -49 13
North Strathclyde 17,177 14,907 12,954 10,577 9,932 10,447 10,096 10,286 9,715 10,521 8 -39 13
Grampian, Highlands and Islands 14,334 13,341 11,674 10,542 9,737 10,416 10,235 10,023 9,521 9,941 4 -31 11
Scotland total initiated 126,304 111,737 92,308 80,502 72,510 72,511 71,605 72,220 68,433 75,623 11 -40 14
Disposed Tayside, Central and Fife 20,160 18,730 16,081 14,343 13,268 12,476 12,782 13,079 11,504 12,434 8 -38 11
Glasgow and Strathkelvin 21,315 20,059 16,134 15,630 13,544 11,828 10,303 10,139 9,961 11,879 19 -44 16
South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway 20,829 18,759 15,979 13,749 12,466 11,801 11,655 12,524 12,022 12,244 2 -41 14
Lothian and Borders 20,384 20,948 15,957 13,494 11,595 11,029 11,700 11,538 10,435 9,528 -9 -53 9
North Strathclyde 15,687 13,455 12,218 9,921 8,803 8,949 9,590 9,358 8,911 8,985 1 -43 11
Grampian, Highlands and Islands 13,166 12,880 11,135 10,010 9,105 9,273 9,775 9,594 9,537 8,924 -6 -32 10
Scotland total disposed 111,541 104,831 87,504 77,147 68,781 65,356 65,805 66,232 62,370 63,994 3 -43 12

1. Excludes summary applications.

2. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

3. Excludes Sheriff Personal Injury Court.

4. Based on mid-2017 small area population estimates produced by National Records of Scotland.

Table 5: Family procedure cases initiated and disposed of in the civil courts, by case type, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases Case type 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Divorce / dissolution 11,752 11,159 11,018 10,678 10,355 10,573 10,301 9,981 10,112 9,459 -6 -20
Parental responsibilities & rights 2,364 2,742 2,713 2,272 2,751 2,479 2,587 2,240 2,433 2,416 -1 2
Interdict 381 409 262 329 370 352 292 278 265 310 17 -19
Aliment 82 88 89 69 58 77 65 49 46 48 4 -41
Exclusion order 7 18 26 14 14 16 19 14 10 8 -20 14
Nullity of marriage / civil partnership 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 z
Other 250 317 386 316 314 356 340 330 383 410 7 64
Total initiated 14,836 14,733 14,496 13,679 13,862 13,853 13,605 12,892 13,250 12,652 -5 -15
Disposed Divorce / dissolution 11,538 10,750 10,115 9,879 9,571 9,809 9,349 9,390 8,415 7,222 -14 -37
Parental responsibilities & rights 1,276 1,416 1,596 1,542 1,638 1,634 1,575 1,613 1,624 1,738 7 36
Interdict 93 134 140 137 166 146 152 158 146 156 7 68
Aliment 55 46 50 64 32 54 40 36 40 31 -23 -44
Exclusion order 11 4 8 6 6 8 4 8 6 5 -17 -55
Nullity of marriage / civil partnership 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 2 0 -100 z
Other 177 198 216 234 210 228 203 236 231 283 23 60
Total disposed 13,150 12,548 12,127 11,864 11,623 11,880 11,323 11,442 10,464 9,435 -10 -28

1. Excludes family-related summary application cases, which are shown separately in Table 8.

2. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

3. Includes Court of Session and sheriff courts.

4. z refers to data not being applicable.

Table 6: Family procedure cases initiated and disposed of in the Court of Session, by case type, 2017-18

Case type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Absolvitor Dismissed For pursuer Expenses only Other
Defended Undefended Defended Undefended Defended Undefended
Aliment 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Divorce / dissolution 77 59 0 4 1 8 16 0 0 30
Ordinary divorce 47 31 0 4 1 8 16 0 0 2
Simplified divorce 29 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27
Ordinary dissolution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Simplified dissolution 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Exclusion order3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Interdict 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Nullity of marriage / civil partnership 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Parental responsibilities & rights 2 5 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 2
Contact 2 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1
Residence 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Other 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 4 11 4 1 0 1 5 0 0 0
Total 87 78 4 8 2 9 22 0 0 33

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. First instance business only – excludes appeals and reclaiming motions.

3. Exclusion orders which suspend the right of a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant to occupy the family home.

Table 7: Family procedure cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, by case type, 2017-18

Case type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Absolvitor For pursuer Granted Dismissed3 Expenses only3 Other
Defended Undefended
Aliment 48 29 1 6 2 0 19 0 1
Divorce / dissolution 9,382 7,163 0 239 2,389 4,226 287 1 21
Ordinary divorce 3,852 2,750 0 239 2,384 0 105 1 21
Simplified divorce 5,452 4,352 0 0 0 4,171 181 0 0
Ordinary dissolution 13 5 0 0 5 0 0 0 0
Simplified dissolution 65 56 0 0 0 55 1 0 0
Exclusion order2 8 5 0 1 1 0 3 0 0
Interdict 306 155 1 36 50 1 63 0 4
Nullity of marriage / civil partnership 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Parental responsibilities & rights 2,414 1,733 3 554 452 58 580 1 85



Contact 1,196 824 1 316 70 7 396 1 33
Residence 805 554 2 158 196 50 109 0 39
Other 413 355 0 80 186 1 75 0 13
Other 406 272 17 61 77 1 108 0 8
Total 12,565 9,357 22 897 2,971 4,286 1,060 2 119

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. Exclusion orders which suspend the right of a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant to occupy the family home.

3. Data from the new case management system is not currently split between 'defended' and 'undefended', therefore these have been combined into a single category.

Table 8: Family-related summary application cases initiated and disposed of, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Case type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Granted Dismissed Refused Other
Adoption Petitions3 533 211 206 4 0 1
Extend/vary interim order4 3,164 643 574 66 1 2
Children’s hearings – appeal4 845 231 63 30 75 63
Children’s hearings – referral4 2,927 1,164 1,060 99 0 5
Children's Hearings Act 2011 - Other5 1,317 431 372 52 6 1
Permanence orders with authority to adopt 388 195 175 19 1 0

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. The number of summary application cases disposed of is likely an underestimate. For more information see the Civil Justice Statistics in Scotland 2017-18 bulletin (section 4.4).

3. Adoption petitions include both family adoptions and adoptions from care. Statistics on adoptions from care are available from Children's Social Work Statistics additional tables (see www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork).

4. These case types represent equivalent actions from the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011. The statistics reported here differ from those reported by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration due to differences in definition and timing.

5. "Other" includes Child Protection Order, Child Support, Child Assessment Order as well as a range of miscellaneous cases.

Table 9: Divorces granted in the civil courts by procedure, 2011-12 to 2017-18

Year Court Ordinary Simplified Total
2017-18 Court of Session 32 26 58
Sheriff courts2 2,644 4,171 6,815
Total 2,676 4,197 6,873
2016-17 Court of Session 38 36 74
Sheriff courts2 3,088 4,776 7,864
Total 3,126 4,812 7,938
2015-16 Court of Session 35 69 104
Sheriff courts 3,301 5,470 8,771
Total 3,336 5,539 8,875
2014-15 Court of Session 24 74 98
Sheriff courts 3,365 5,573 8,938
Total 3,389 5,647 9,036
2013-14 Court of Session 28 52 80
Sheriff courts 3,692 5,854 9,546
Total 3,720 5,906 9,626
2012-13 Court of Session 34 73 107
Sheriff courts 3,940 5,647 9,587
Total 3,974 5,720 9,694
2011-12 Court of Session 26 75 101
Sheriff courts 4,053 5,749 9,802
Total 4,079 5,824 9,903

1. The statistics in this table and Table 10 do not equal the total number of disposals for divorce and dissolution shown in Table 6

2. Sheriff courts statistics for 2016-17 and 2017-18 are provisional, and similarly total divorces granted for the same period. These may be subject to change in due course.

Table 10: Dissolutions granted in the civil courts by procedure, 2011-12 to 2017-18

Year Court Ordinary Simplified Total
2017-18 Court of Session 0 1 1
Sheriff courts2 5 55 60
Total 5 56 61
2016-17 Court of Session 0 5 5
Sheriff courts2 3 75 78
Total 3 80 83
2015-16 Court of Session 1 2 3
Sheriff courts 5 88 93
Total 6 90 96
2014-15 Court of Session 0 2 2
Sheriff courts 3 76 79
Total 3 78 81
2013-14 Court of Session 0 3 3
Sheriff courts 7 51 58
Total 7 54 61
2012-13 Court of Session 0 3 3
Sheriff courts 4 60 64
Total 4 63 67
2011-12 Court of Session 0 3 3
Sheriff courts 3 40 43
Total 3 43 46

1. The statistics in this table and Table 9 do not equal the total number of disposals for divorce and dissolution shown in Table 6

2. Sheriff courts statistics for 2016-17 and 2017-18 are provisional, and similarly total divorces granted for the same period. These may be subject to change in due course.

Table 11: Debt cases initiated and disposed of in the civil courts, by case type, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases Procedure 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Court of Session2 23 1 4 8 6 5 70 8 6 14 133 -39
Sheriff: ordinary cause 14,669 12,054 9,200 6,944 5,487 4,586 4,407 5,342 4,483 5,012 12 -66
Sheriff: commercial 400 318 223 266 222 241 378 335 259 249 -4 -38
Sheriff: summary cause3 7,157 5,307 4,415 3,922 3,381 3,114 3,258 3,896 2,336 5 -100 -100
Sheriff: small claim3, 4 43,549 38,251 31,533 29,110 26,803 27,444 25,642 25,338 17,522 7 -100 -100
Sheriff: simple procedure3 z z z z z z z z 5,961 32,077 z z
Total initiated 65,798 55,931 45,375 40,250 35,899 35,390 33,755 34,919 30,567 37,364 22 -43
Disposed Court of Session2 28 16 2 2 2 6 4 8 13 8 -38 -71
Sheriff: ordinary cause 12,553 10,150 7,729 5,885 4,534 3,566 3,520 3,902 3,560 3,356 -6 -73
Sheriff: commercial 252 231 166 175 117 143 303 222 183 162 -11 -36
Sheriff: summary cause3 7,097 5,772 4,337 3,884 3,324 2,906 3,199 3,490 3,024 284 -91 -96
Sheriff: small claim3, 4 38,594 40,347 31,026 28,934 26,023 25,876 26,319 24,953 22,149 1,214 -95 -97
Sheriff: simple procedure3 z z z z z z z z 962 27,549 z z
Total disposed 58,524 56,516 43,260 38,880 34,000 32,497 33,345 32,575 29,891 32,573 9 -44

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. First instance business only – excludes appeals and reclaiming motions.

3. The first phase of simple procedure replaced the small claims and the more straightforward cases under summary cause procedure from 28 November 2016. More complex summary cause cases will move during phase two of simple procedure in due course.

4. There are still a small number of small claims cases being registered mainly under the EU small claims procedure.

Table 12: Debt cases initiated and disposed of in the civil courts, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Case type Initiated Disposed Absolvitor Disposed
For pursuer Decree by default Dismissed2 Expenses only2 Other
Defended Undefended
Court of Session3 14 8 5 0 0 0 2 0 1
Sheriff: ordinary cause 5,012 3,356 410 190 2,221 46 466 0 23
Sheriff: commercial 249 162 31 13 97 3 18 0 0
Sheriff: summary cause4 5 284 39 37 82 3 115 0 8
Sheriff: small claim4 7 1,214 102 94 392 10 602 0 14
Sheriff: simple procedure4 32,077 27,549 537 1,326 17,607 1 7,862 198 18
Total 37,364 32,573 1,124 1,660 20,399 63 9,065 198 64

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. Data from the new case management system is not currently split between 'defended' and 'undefended', therefore these have been combined into a single category.

3. First instance business only – excludes appeals and reclaiming motions.

4. The first phase of simple procedure replaced the small claims and the more straightforward cases under summary cause procedure from 28 November 2016. More complex summary cause cases will move during phase two of simple procedure in due course.

Table 13: Personal injury cases initiated and disposed of in the civil courts, by case type, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases Case type 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Road traffic accident 3,441 4,635 5,790 4,613 5,106 4,770 5,143 4,897 4,955 5,492 11 60
Accident at work 1,921 1,844 1,802 1,750 1,758 1,797 1,817 1,721 1,480 1,547 5 -19
Clinical negligence 173 189 207 222 203 262 629 388 351 901 157 421
Asbestos3 242 541 345 294 436 320 458 413 470 568 21 135
Other3 1,211 2,557 955 931 1,190 1,138 1,163 1,347 1,122 935 -17 -23
Total initiated 6,988 9,766 9,099 7,810 8,693 8,287 9,210 8,766 8,378 9,443 13 35
Disposed Road traffic accident 1,588 2,977 4,607 4,619 4,130 3,893 3,970 4,197 3,630 4,382 21 176
Accident at work 1,343 1,596 1,529 1,627 1,570 1,653 1,623 1,560 1,205 1,328 10 -1
Clinical negligence 32 104 124 133 154 178 195 238 232 231 0 622
Asbestos3 214 181 168 216 365 598 633 430 531 589 11 175
Other3 2,193 1,343 1,074 1,775 1,444 1,079 941 1,108 994 867 -13 -60
Total disposed 5,370 6,201 7,502 8,370 7,663 7,401 7,362 7,533 6,592 7,397 12 38

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. Includes Court of Session, sheriff courts and Sheriff Personal Injury Court.

3. Pleural plaques figures were incorrectly included within the 'Other' category instead of 'Asbestos' for 2015-16 and 2016-17. The data has now been corrected.

Table 14: Personal injury cases1 initiated and disposed2 of in the Court of Session3, 2017-18

Case type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Absolvitor Dismissed For pursuer Expenses only Other
Defended Undefended Defended Undefended Defended Undefended
Road traffic accident 116 130 99 1 0 24 1 0 0 5
Accident at work4 94 137 104 0 0 22 1 1 0 9
Clinical negligence 144 121 93 3 0 22 0 0 0 3
Asbestos5 108 218 169 2 0 38 1 0 0 8
Other6 52 78 59 2 1 8 3 0 0 5
Total 514 684 524 8 1 114 6 1 0 30

1. These statistics relate to cases that use personal injury procedure and standard ordinary cause procedure.

2. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

3. First instance business only – excludes appeals and reclaiming motions.

4. Accident at work includes vibration white finger and repetitive strain injury.

5. Asbestos includes all asbestos related conditions like asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening and mesothelioma.

6. Relative's claim is now included within 'Other'.

Table 15: Ordinary cause personal injury cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, 2017-18

Case type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Absolvitor For pursuer Decree by default Dismissed4 Other
Defended Undefended
Road traffic accident 1,740 1,253 392 720 83 5 46 7
Accident at work 118 131 78 38 4 0 10 1
Clinical negligence 58 59 42 6 1 0 10 0
Asbestos 5 7 3 3 0 0 1 0
Slip, trip or fall 176 105 58 35 4 0 7 1
Other 117 162 76 60 5 1 20 0
Total 2,214 1,717 649 862 97 6 94 9

1. From 2 November 2009 personal injury cases with a claim amount of more than £5,000 are raised under an ordinary cause - personal injury court procedure. All personal injury cases with a claim amount of more than £5,000 are shown in the table above, irrespective of the procedure used.

2. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

3. Excludes Sheriff Personal Injury Court.

4. Data from the new case management system is not currently split between 'defended' and 'undefended', therefore these have been combined into a single category.

Table 16: Summary cause personal injury cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, 2017-18

Case type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Absolvitor For pursuer Decree by default Dismissed3 Other
Defended Undefended
Road traffic accident 2,600 2,255 541 684 236 3 602 189
Accident at work 63 54 26 17 2 0 6 3
Clinical negligence 616 2 2 0 0 0 0 0
Asbestos 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Slip, trip or fall 69 56 35 14 1 0 6 0
Other 85 87 40 18 11 0 12 6
Total 3,433 2,455 645 733 250 3 626 198

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. Excludes Sheriff Personal Injury Court.

3. Data from the new case management system is not currently split between 'defended' and 'undefended', therefore these have been combined into a single category.

Table 17: Civil law cases initiated and disposed of in the Sheriff Personal Injury Court, 2015-16 to 2017-18

Case Type Initiated Disposed
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Road traffic accident 313 832 1,036 72 438 744
Accident at work4 469 1,153 1,272 75 555 1,006
Clinical negligence 30 105 83 1 29 49
Asbestos5 124 370 455 0 110 363
Slip, Trip or Fall 0 86 208 0 6 115
Other6 207 410 228 24 225 264
Total 1,143 2,956 3,282 172 1,363 2,541

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. Includes cases initiated and disposed within Personal Injury Chapter 36A.

3. Sheriff Personal Injury Court was established on 22 September 2015.

4. Accident at work includes vibration white finger and repetitive strain injury.

5. Asbestos include all asbestos related conditions like pleural plaques, mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening.

6. Relative's claim cases are included in 'Other'.

Table 18: Damages cases initiated and disposed of in the civil courts, by case type, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases Procedure 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Court of Session2 337 529 300 367 357 369 286 409 170 146 -14 -57
Sheriff: ordinary cause 738 791 630 491 496 447 400 412 658 538 -18 -27
Sheriff: commercial 38 54 163 37 34 51 46 15 25 13 -48 -66
Sheriff: summary cause3 434 561 453 488 382 441 271 222 292 1 -100 -100
Sheriff: small claim3 3,080 2,918 2,586 2,364 2,009 1,887 1,348 1,238 1,122 0 -100 -100
Sheriff: simple procedure3 z z z z z z z z 543 2,185 z z
Total initiated 4,627 4,853 4,132 3,747 3,278 3,195 2,351 2,296 2,810 2,883 3 -38
Disposed Court of Session2 206 212 315 313 298 359 355 249 212 327 54 59
Sheriff: ordinary cause 1,415 666 595 675 623 435 304 263 390 423 8 -70
Sheriff: commercial 29 26 18 30 8 16 24 140 19 10 -47 -66
Sheriff: summary cause3 410 450 457 452 383 340 287 205 267 41 -85 -90
Sheriff: small claim3 2,409 2,710 2,397 2,149 1,982 1,758 1,380 1,266 1,239 87 -93 -96
Sheriff: simple procedure3 z z z z z z z z 49 1,843 z z
Total disposed 4,469 4,064 3,782 3,619 3,294 2,908 2,350 2,123 2,176 2,731 26 -39

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. Includes ordinary and commercial cases. Data refers to first instance business only - excludes appeals and reclaiming motions.

3. The first phase of simple procedure replaced the small claims and the more straightforward cases under summary cause procedure from 28 November 2016. More complex summary cause cases will move during phase two of simple procedure in due course.

4. z refers to data not being applicable.

Table 19: Damages cases initiated and disposed of in the civil courts, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Court type Case type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Absolvitor For Pursuer Dismissed2 Expenses Only2 Other
Defended Undefended
Court of Session3 Ordinary 104 184 113 4 6 11 0 50
Commercial 42 143 125 5 2 9 0 2
Court of Session total 146 327 238 9 8 20 0 52
Sheriff courts Small claim4 0 87 57 11 4 15 0 0
Ordinary cause 538 423 182 98 41 96 0 6
Summary cause4 1 41 19 12 2 6 0 2
Commercial 13 10 3 6 1 0 0 0
Simple procedure4 2,185 1,843 618 66 329 796 33 1
Sheriff courts total 2,737 2,404 879 193 377 913 33 9
Civil courts total 2,883 2,731 1,117 202 385 933 33 61

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. Data from the new case management system is not currently split between 'defended' and 'undefended', therefore these have been combined into a single category.

3. First instance business only – excludes appeals and reclaiming motions.

4. The first phase of simple procedure replaced the small claims and the more straightforward cases under summary cause procedure from 28 November 2016. More complex summary cause cases will move during phase two of simple procedure in due course.

Table 20: Repossession cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, by procedure, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases Procedure 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Ordinary cause 10,135 8,256 4,245 79 64 54 67 58 17 0 -100 -100
Commercial 0 6 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 z z
Summary application 6 4 975 6,673 5,321 4,715 3,201 1,816 1,736 2,056 18 34,167
Total initiated 10,141 8,266 5,224 6,752 5,385 4,770 3,268 1,874 1,753 2,056 17 -80
Disposed Ordinary cause 7,181 6,476 5,083 253 90 74 61 53 26 0 -100 -100
Commercial 1 4 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 z -100
Summary application2 0 6 489 3,987 4,003 3,386 2,597 1,570 1,480 1,650 11 z
Total disposed 7,182 6,486 5,573 4,243 4,093 3,460 2,659 1,623 1,506 1,650 10 -77

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. The number of summary application cases disposed of is likely to be an underestimate.

3. z refers to data not being applicable.

Table 21: Summary application repossession cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Case Type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Absolvitor For pursuer Decree by default Dismissed Other3
Defended Undefended
Repossession summary application 2,056 1,650 6 163 881 29 554 17

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. The number of cases disposed of is likely to be an underestimate.

3. Includes cases disposed as refused, dropped from roll and withdrawn.

Table 22: Eviction cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Cases Procedure 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Summary cause 19,944 16,528 14,160 13,979 10,532 11,778 13,750 14,690 14,304 14,604 2 -27
Disposed Summary cause 19,191 16,986 14,906 13,972 12,358 11,613 12,892 13,905 14,459 13,776 -5 -28

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

Table 23: Summary cause eviction cases initiated and disposed of in the sheriff courts, by case type and final disposal, 2017-18

Case Type Initiated Disposed Disposed
Absolvitor For pursuer Decree by default Dismissed3 Expenses only3 Other4
Defended Undefended
Eviction summary cause 14,604 13,776 12 1,261 7,049 112 5,219 5 118

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. The number of cases disposed of is likely to be an underestimate.

3. Data from the new case management system is not currently split between 'defended' and 'undefended', therefore these have been combined into a single category.

4. Includes cases disposed as refused, dropped from roll and withdrawn.

Table 24: Petitions for judicial review initiated and disposed of in the Petition Department of the Court of Session, 2008-09 to 2017-18

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 % change since 2016-17 % change since 2008-09
Initiated Judicial review
Environmental 0 0 2 2 1 3 4 1 3 0 z z
Housing 2 1 4 1 0 1 2 13 15 15 0 650
Immigrants 177 210 266 195 224 231 323 393 262 267 2 51
Licensing board 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 z z
Planning permission 5 10 8 11 8 6 12 7 4 6 50 20
Prison authorities 18 107 7 3 10 17 17 24 6 20 233 11
Social security benefits 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 5 4 -20 z
Other 30 49 54 31 48 49 39 55 48 45 -6 50
Total 232 378 342 243 293 308 399 496 343 357 4 54
Disposed Judicial review
Environmental 0 0 1 2 1 2 0 1 1 1 0 z
Housing 5 1 3 1 0 1 1 7 17 15 -12 200
Immigrants 153 168 182 267 229 203 229 314 397 308 -22 101
Licensing board 1 1 0 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 z -100
Planning permission 4 7 5 11 12 4 7 12 5 6 20 50
Prison authorities 15 18 12 95 101 19 10 23 13 24 85 60
Social security benefits 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 5 150 z
Other 34 32 39 34 26 40 38 43 50 51 2 50
Total 212 227 242 412 370 270 287 402 485 410 -15 93

1. Changes were made to the case types and final disposals recorded by the Court of Session from 2009-10 which affects the ability to compare petition type.

2. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

3. z refers to data not being applicable.

Table 25: Civil law appeals initiated and disposed of in the Sheriff Appeal Court, 2015-16 to 2017-18

Cases Initiated Disposed
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Appeals from small claim 2 30 9 0 18 18
Miscellaneous 0 2 0 0 0 2
Payment 2 28 9 0 18 16
Appeals from summary cause 2 45 43 0 26 38
Heritable 2 29 27 0 21 25
Payment 0 13 7 0 5 7
Personal injury 0 3 6 0 0 5
Miscellaneous 0 0 3 0 0 1
Appeals from simple procedure 0 0 41 0 0 12
Debt 0 0 40 0 0 12
Delivery 0 0 1 0 0 0
Appeals from ordinary cause3 44 175 140 3 100 118
Debt 23 40 35 2 38 29
Family 8 45 44 0 27 35
Personal injury 3 14 4 1 5 11
Commercial 2 7 13 0 4 8
Heritable 1 8 0 0 2 0
Other 7 61 44 0 24 35
Other appeals4 0 36 53 0 25 49
Total 48 286 286 3 169 235

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. The Sheriff Appeal Court (Civil) was established on 1st January 2016.

3. Includes summary applications.

4. Other appeals include adults with incapacity, liquidation, sequestration, proceeds of crime and miscellaneous cases.

Table 26: Civil law applications to the Court of Session for permission (leave) to appeal to UK Supreme Court, 2017-18

Year Initiated Disposed Disposed
Granted Refused Withdrawn
2017-18 20 25 2 23 0
2016-172 41 45 6 35 4
2015-162, 3 16 4 1 3 0

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases.

2. Disposal figures for 2015-16 and 2016-17 were corrected due to an error in recording at the source.

3. Applications relate to the period from 22 September 2015 and therefore do not cover a full financial year.

Table 27: Civil law cases initiated in the Court of Session, sheriff courts and Sheriff Personal Injury Court, 2008-09 to 2017-18

Initiated Cases 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Repossession 10,141 8,266 5,224 6,752 5,385 4,770 3,268 1,874 1,753 2,056
Damages 4,627 4,851 4,131 3,684 3,278 3,195 2,351 2,296 2,810 2,883
Personal Injury 6,988 9,766 9,099 7,810 8,693 8,287 9,210 8,766 8,378 9,443
Family 14,836 14,733 14,496 13,679 13,862 13,853 13,605 12,892 13,250 12,652
Eviction 19,944 16,528 14,160 13,979 10,532 11,778 13,750 14,690 14,304 14,604
Debt 65,798 55,931 45,375 40,250 35,899 35,390 33,755 34,919 30,567 37,364
Other 9,305 7,768 5,939 5,739 5,093 4,514 4,031 4,100 4,314 4,238
All cases 131,639 117,843 98,424 91,893 82,742 81,787 79,970 79,537 75,376 83,240

1. Excludes appeals and reclaiming motions in the Inner House.

2. Includes summary applications for repossession cases only.

3. Sheriff Personal Injury Court was established on 22 September 2015.

Table 28: Civil legal aid grants, 2012-13 to 2017-18

Family subject matters 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Appeals - family - - - 32 39 34
Contact/parentage 3,590 3,345 3,043 2,669 2,804 2,599
Divorce/separation 2,295 2,240 1,929 1,814 1,817 1,688
Property/monetary 343 321 294 262 247 236
Protective order 530 407 328 284 301 315
Residence 1,412 1,360 1,190 1,120 1,192 1,179
Family/matrimonial - other 643 697 655 655 688 764
Total civil legal aid grants - family 8,813 8,370 7,439 6,836 7,088 6,815
Non-family subject matters
Adults with incapacity 2,663 3,024 3,587 4,083 4,385 4,603
Appeals - other 126 131 107 106 100 59
Breach of contract 30 31 15 16 17 10
Debt 125 99 122 109 120 82
Discrimination - 3 1 1 7 3
Fatal accident inquiries 8 12 12 12 16 14
Housing/recovery of heritable property 758 807 787 692 840 791
Immigration and asylum 173 198 277 333 234 189
Judicial review 68 75 65 80 35 90
Medical negligence 58 94 86 61 76 74
Reparation 231 235 187 193 239 90
Other 374 330 292 295 268 273
Total civil legal aid grants - non-family 4,614 5,039 5,538 5,981 6,337 6,278
Total civil legal aid grants 13,427 13,409 12,977 12,817 13,425 13,093

1. Figures supplied by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

2. Note that, granted cases may not always proceed.


Contact

Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot