Civil Business Post COVID 19


The pandemic has forced significant changes on the justice system including an increasing use of virtual technology. To what extent that technology will continue to be effective post pandemic is now being considered.

Civil Justice Conference, May 2021

As a starting point, a conference to discuss how Court of Session and sheriff court civil business might be conducted once the coronavirus pandemic is over was held on 10 May 2021.

Organised by the Judicial Institute for Scotland as an open invitation event, it was attended by 240 individuals made up of members of the public, journalists, the legal profession, and the judiciary.

It provided a forum for discussion amongst interested parties about how civil business might be managed using virtual and in-person hearings.

The Lord President, Lord Carloway, introduced the event, saying that it was “a focal point for beginning to consider the central question of what Covid-instigated methods of working should be retained and/or improved and which pre-Covid procedures, notably the in person hearing, should be reinstated.”

A report of the conference is available and provides a record of what the speakers said on the day. Also available are the conference programme, delegate list, conference speakers’ biographies and papers. Users might also find it helpful to consult speakers’ pre-conference papers and the results of three surveys conducted by the Judicial Institute, the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland seeking responses from the judiciary and the professions. You can find all pre-conference papers and survey results below.

Pre Conference Papers and Survey Results

Report on the Civil Justice Conference of 10 May 2021(PDF)

Civil Justice Conference - Delegate Programme 10 May 2021 (PDF)

Civil Justice Conference - Delegate List (PDF)

Civil Justice Conference - Speakers' Biographies (PDF)

Paper by Lord Justice Flaux - The Future shape of business and property litigation after the pandemic - Civil Justice Conference (PDF)

Paper by Lady Wise on Procedural Hearings and Debates in the Scottish civil courts post-pandemic (PDF)

Paper by Lord Tyre - Proofs (PDF)

Paper by Lord Pentland - Appellate work in the Scottish civil courts during and after the pandemic (PDF)

Paper by Sheriff Principal Anwar (PDF)

Paper by Sheriff Sheehan - Virtual Civil Courts (PDF)

Paper by Professor Susskind The Future of Courts July 2020 (PDF)

Paper by Kay McCorquodale - Civil Justice post-COVID (PDF)

Paper by Vikki Melville - Appeal Hearings (PDF)

Paper by Amanda Millar - Procedural Hearings (PDF)

Paper by Gordon Dalyell - Proofs (PDF)

Judicial Institute Civil Business Survey Report (PDF)

Law Society Civil Courts Online Survey Summary - Analysis of Research April 2021 (PDF)

Paper by Faculty of Advocates - Discussion Paper and Survey Results on Remote Courts Post-Covid 19 (PDF)
One of the speakers, Professor Richard Susskind, was unable to attend the conference and instead provided a video of his conference presentation, which was shown to all attendees during the conference. The video can be accessed here: 


Further publications, such as consultations or papers, may be added to this page in the future and will be promoted by articles on the Home page of the website.


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