Justices of the peace are lay magistrates who sit with a legally qualified advisor to deal with summary criminal cases. Summary sheriffs may also sit in and exercise the powers of the justice of the peace court in their sheriffdom.

Maximum penalties available to justices are set by law. See the Scottish Sentencing Council’s website for more information on maximum sentences and the range of available sentences.

Scottish Justices Association

The Association represents justices across Scotland through consultations, committees and other communications. Its Executive Committee is made up of three elected representatives from each of Scotland’s six sheriffdoms.

The Association's website has more information about the role of a justice and current membership. 

Read more about how justices are appointed.