Customer Charter

Supreme Courts Crest


The Supreme Courts are part of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) and are the superior courts in Scotland. They consist of the Court of Session, the High Court of Justiciary, the Sheriff Appeal Court and the Scottish Land Court.  The Scottish Land Court staff also provide administrative support to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland.

The Court of Session is the supreme civil court in Scotland. The High Court of Justiciary deals with criminal appeals and serious criminal cases. The Sheriff Appeal Court hears appeals, both civil and criminal, from decisions made in the sheriff courts.

Our Supreme Courts Customer Charter sets out our standards of service in these courts and our commitments to you.

We recognise that attending court is an unfamiliar experience for many people. We want to provide information that helps you to access our services and understand court proceedings. You should feel confident that we will listen to you, provide you with accurate and relevant information and treat you with courtesy and consideration at all times.

We provide information about court procedures and coming to court (including jury citations and guidance). We cannot give legal advice or comment on judicial decisions. If we are unable to provide you with advice, information or a particular service we will explain why.

More information about the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service can be found on our website

About the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is a non-ministerial department established by the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. Its statutory function is to provide administrative support to the Scottish courts, devolved tribunals and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). On 1 April 2015 SCTS became responsible for the administration of Scotland’s devolved tribunals.

In addition to administering Scotland’s courts and tribunals, SCTS supports the Office of the Public Guardian and Accountant of Court. The OPG provides guidance and undertakes investigations to protect vulnerable people under the terms of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. The Public Guardian is also the Accountant of Court.[1]

The purpose of SCTS is supporting justice. We fulfil that purpose by providing the people, buildings and services needed to support the judiciary, the courts, tribunals and Office of the Public Guardian. Our work focuses on improving access to justice, reducing delay and cost within the justice system and maximising the use of technology to improve our services. To achieve our purpose, we organise the main activities in our plans around 7 strategic priorities.

  • Satisfied Service Users
  • Purposeful Collaboration
  • Skilled & Motivated People
  • Digital Services
  • Sustainable Buildings & Business
  • Efficiency & Best Value
  • A Well Supported Judiciary

By focusing on these priorities we ensure that everything we do is of benefit to Scotland’s justice system, those who rely on it and those who work to uphold and improve it on a daily basis. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service Corporate Plan 2020-23 can be found on our website.

The way we deliver our services is led by our values, which we observe and seek to promote in others:

  • Respect,
  • Service, and
  • Excellence.

We aim to treat everyone fairly irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Further information is available in our “Equality Statement and Outcomes” available on our website.

When you attend at court, or at one of our offices, we ask that you please treat our staff with courtesy

Visiting a Court

When you visit court, a member of staff will be available to assist you. If you have arranged to meet a member of our staff, you can expect to be met on time and no later than 10 minutes after the scheduled appointment time.

Your privacy is important to us, and we take our responsibility to look after your personal information very seriously. We will ensure that you are treated in a manner that respects the confidentiality of your enquiry or your proceedings in court.

You can expect to find the following facilities and services in all of our court buildings:

  • Reception areas and / or information points that are clearly marked
  • Clear signs in place to help you find your way around our buildings
  • Information on court business that is easily accessible or prominently displayed
  • Clean and comfortable accommodation

If you are due to attend at court and have a hearing or sight impairment, or have other accessibility or support requirements, please contact the court as soon as possible to discuss the arrangements we can make for you. We will consider all reasonable requests and take practical steps to meet them.

Information documents are available, on request, in a wide range of formats and in other languages.

Please let us know if you have any needs that we are not currently meeting

Attending Court as a Witness

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service does not cite witnesses to attend at court, this being the responsibility of the main parties to the particular court case.

However we understand that coming to court to give evidence can cause anxiety. If you are required to attend, we want to make the experience as straightforward and as comfortable as possible by providing suitable facilities, and timely information about the progress of your case when we can. To this end:

  • We will provide separate waiting rooms for prosecution and defence witnesses and access to refreshments
  • We will update you on the progress of the court case at least once per hour and advise you when you can leave the court
  • If you are entitled to give your evidence to court by live TV link, we will meet you on the day and explain the process for giving your evidence to court
  • We will respond to requests received on behalf of witnesses, for court familiarisation visits, within three working days of receipt, and
  • If you want to know what support is available to you when you arrive at court, we will direct you to the Witness Service or other support services which are present in the court building.

Standards to the above effect are set out in a cross justice agency publication “Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses” which may be found on our website.

Contact Us

You can contact us during normal office opening hours, these are:



10.30am - 5.00pm

Tuesday to Thursday   

9.00am - 5.00pm


9.00am - 4.45pm

Glasgow (Saltmarket)

Monday to Thursday    

9.00am - 5.00pm


9.00am - 4.30pm

You can also write, send an e-mail or phone us using the following addresses or numbers:

Supreme Courts

Parliament House

Parliament Square

Edinburgh EH1 1RQ

Telephone:    0131 225 2595

Supreme Courts

Justiciary Buildings

1 Mart Street


Glasgow G1 5JT

Telephone: 0141 552 3795


Accessible content 

If you want to contact us using text relay, please follow the guidance at this link: Relay UK

If you require the support of an interpreter when you contact a court by phone, or attend in person, a telephone interpretation service is available. To access this service, ask for telephone interpreting and state the language required.

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 website

Telephone Enquiries

We aim to answer all telephone calls (or recorded messages) received during normal office hours.

If we cannot deal with your enquiry immediately, we will call you back at a mutually agreed time.

If you are attending court as a juror, or potential juror, that court will operate a messaging service to provide you with relevant information.

Written Enquiries

You can write to us by e-mail or letter, and we will respond within ten working days of receiving your enquiry.

We will identify the name and the position of the person who is writing to you. Our response will be in plain English, and we will provide a clear explanation of any technical or legal jargon.

Attending the Public Offices 

If you wish to speak to a member of staff regarding a case, you are more than welcome to attend the public offices. In order for us to give you the best customer service we can, we ask that you treat our staff and other court users with courtesy and respect. It is also helpful if you provide us with any information which is relevant to your enquiry such as documents or reference numbers.

Please let us know how we can assist you

Accessing information

We want to be as open as possible in providing information about court proceedings and the operations of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.

However we must ensure that releasing information will not prejudice legal proceedings or breach our obligations arising from data protection law. The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, subject to certain exemptions. Information contained in court records is exempt information in terms of Section 37 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 for a period of 15 years. Court records are documents, reports and minutes, etc., that are used, obtained or produced in court for the purpose of court proceedings. If you want to make a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 you should write to our Freedom of Information Officer at

If you wish to know more about our plans for the future, or how we have performed, please refer to our website. There you can find our guide to information available through the SCTS Publication Scheme which includes our Corporate Plan, Annual Report & Accounts and a range of other information and publications about the courts and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.

Customer Care

As part of our commitment to customer service and care we:

  • conduct regular customer surveys to help us to find out the needs of our customers and help improve our services
  • continually review and improve office procedures and standards
  • welcome suggestions that could lead to improvement in our service
  • participate in appropriate local community initiatives
  • conduct spot checks of our work
  • hold user group meetings to exchange information with customers

Your Feedback

We welcome your comments and suggestions which help us improve the service we provide. We regularly carry out court user satisfaction surveys to make sure that we are meeting your needs.

You may find suggestion boxes and comment cards in the court building. If you prefer, you can give feedback verbally to local staff or court management or you can write to the court by post or e-mail at the address shown on our website.

We want to put things right if they do go wrong and we will always treat complaints seriously and impartially. We would always prefer to try and resolve complaints locally and as quickly as possible. If you do have a complaint we would ask that you seek to resolve it by contacting local staff or court management at the time of the incident.

However we do appreciate that it is not always possible to resolve matters either locally or at the time and we do have a formal complaints procedure which follows the model procedure of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and which you can access at our public offices or on our website.

Finding out more

You will find other useful information, guidance and leaflets on the following websites:

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service:

Office of the Public Guardian:

Scottish Land Court:

Judiciary of Scotland:

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service:

Scottish Government:

Further copies of this document can be made available, on request, in other languages – please e- mail or phone 0131 444 3455.

Dodatkowe egzemplarze tego dokumentu mogą być udostępnione, na życzenie, w innych językach – prosimy o e-mail lub telefon 0131 444 3455.


La cerere, se pot pune la dispoziție copii suplimentare ale acestui document în alte limbi – vă rugăm să trimiteți email la sau să apelați 0131 444 3455.


مكن توفير صور إضافية من هذه الوثيقة حسب الطلب وبلغات أخرى - يُرجَى إرسال الطلب على البريد الإلكتروني أو الاتصال على رقم الهاتف 0131 444 3455.


Jei pageidaujate, šio dokumento kopiją galite gauti kitomis kalbomis. Rašykite el. laišką adresu arba skambinkite telefonu 0131 444 3455.


اس دستاویز کی مزید کاپیاں، درخواست پر، دوسری زبانوں میں دستیاب کی جا سکتی ہیں - براہ کرم پر ای میل کریں یا 3455 444 0131 پر فون کریں۔


可应要求以其他语言提供本文件的更多副本——请发送电子邮件至 或致电 0131 444 3455。

При желании можно получить дополнительные копии данного документа на других языках: отправьте запрос по электронной почте на адрес или позвоните по номеру 0131 444 3455.


Có thể có những bản khác của tài liệu này bằng các ngôn ngữ khác, theo yêu cầu – vui lòng gửi e- mail tới hoặc gọi điện thoại 0131 444 3455.


کۆپی زیاتری ئەم بەڵگەنامەیە دەکرێت، لەسەر داخوازی بە زمانی دیکە بەردەست بخرێت - تکایە ئیمەیڵ بنێرە بۆ یان تەلەفون بکە بۆ 0131 444 3455.


Kopje të tjera të këtij dokumenti mund të vihen në dispozicion, sipas kërkesës, në gjuhë të tjera - ju lutemi të dërgoni e-mail te ose telefononi 0131 444 3455.


If you would like this document in audio or large print format, please e-mail or phone 0131 248 1866.

[1] The Scottish Tribunals, the Scottish Land Court, the Office of the Public Guardian and Accountant of Court have their own User or Customer Charters.

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