Edinburgh High Court

About the court

The High Court of Justiciary and Court of Session, collectively known as the Supreme Courts of Scotland, are situated in a central location in the Old Town of Edinburgh. The Court of Session is the Royal Court of Scotland, hearing civil cases in the name of Her Majesty, the Queen, and was created in 1532. The High Court of Justiciary was created in its current form in 1672. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Courts extends to the whole of Scotland.

Parliament House is a complex of several buildings housing the Supreme Courts where, in 2012, a thirteen year programme of refurbishment was completed. Recent reforms to civil and criminal procedures have encouraged judges to take a proactive role in the disposal of business.

Closely linked to the work of the Supreme Courts and the building itself are the Faculty of Advocates and the libraries of the Writers to the Signet and the Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Courts.

Lawnmarket - Exterior 2

Contact the court

Postal address

Parliament House
Parliament Square


0131 225 2595

Principal Clerk

Director and Principal Clerk of Session and Justiciary


  • Civil Department: 549306, Edinburgh 36
  • Criminal Department: 549306, Edinburgh 36


  • Civil Department: 0131 240 6746
  • Criminal Department: 0131 240 6915


Difficulty using the phone

Phone interpreter

A phone interpreter service is available when you contact a court by phone or attend in person. To access this service ask for phone interpreter and the language required.

The phone interpreter service is not available during actual court proceedings.

Text relay service

If you are deaf, have hearing loss or are speech impaired you can contact us for free with Relay UK.

British Sign Language (BSL)

If you use British Sign Language (BSL) and wish to phone us using a sign language interpreter, you can use the online video relay interpreting service. For more information see the Contact Scotland BSL website.

Opening times

  • Monday to Thursday from 09:00 to 17:00
  • Friday from 09:00 to 16:45

Office opening times:

  • Monday from 10:30 to 17:00
  • Tuesday to Thursday from 09:00 to 17:00
  • Friday from 09:00 from 16:45

Please note that the Offices of Court are closed on Monday mornings from 09:00 to 10:30 for staff training.

Urgent enquiries will be dealt with by phoning:

  • Civil matters - 0131 240 5743
  • Criminal matters - 0131 240 6905

Public holidays


  • January 1, 2
  • March 29
  • April 1, 15
  • May 6, 20
  • September 16
  • December 2, 24*, 25, 26

*half day

Directions to court


By bus

Several bus routes pass near to the High Street including LRT buses 3, 7, 14, 23, 27, 30, 33, 35, 41, 42, 45 and 49.

By rail

The nearest train station is Waverley Station, approximately a ten minute walk. Visit ScotRail or National Rail Enquiries for train times.

By car

There are no parking facilities at the Supreme Courts, Parliament House. The surrounding streets are "yellow lined" or have only restricted parking. If you come by car, leave sufficient time to find an all-day parking place. 

By taxi

There is a taxi rank nearby outside the Radisson Blu Hotel on the High Street.

By air

The nearest airport is Edinburgh Airport (approximately 7 miles). There is a direct airport bus which arrives at Waverley Bridge. From there, the court building is a ten minute walk. For up to date bus timetables or visit journey planner.

On arrival

On arrival, please report to High Court at the Lawnmarket. You will be directed from there to where you need to go in the building. To enter the building you will be asked to pass through airport type screening and your bags or briefcases will be searched.

Jurors on a jury

If you are attending for jury duty please come to the main reception where you will be directed to where you need to go in the building. If you are sitting on a jury, lunch and refreshments will be provided for you if the court sits into the afternoon.


There is a restaurant on Level -1 which provides meals and light refreshments. This is open from 9am-3.15pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 9am-2pm Wednesday and Friday. There are a number of local cafes and restaurants near to the court building.


Accessible hearing

A loop induction service is available in all courtrooms for people who have hearing difficulties. Please contact the Administration Unit on 0131 225 2595 if you require to use this facility.

Accessible access

Wheelchair users can access the building through the main Reception. If you have any specific access arrangements please contact 0131 225 2595.

Pay a fine

You do not pay fines at the Supreme Courts. To pay a fine or for information and advice please go to pay a fine.

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