The role of a judge is to interpret and apply the law without bias or prejudice. Declinature of jurisdiction, or recusal, refers to the act of a judicial office holder abstaining from taking part in legal proceedings due to a conflict of interest; or in cases where their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. Judges can recuse themselves; or parties to a case can object to the judge’s involvement by making a motion for recusal. This might involve financial interest or a close family relationship.
More minor conflicts may be declared before the court. The parties to the case can then either object to the judge’s involvement or proceed based on agreement that the interest is suitably insignificant.
Cases where senators, temporary judges, sheriffs principal, sheriffs, summary sheriffs, justices of the peace, or a member of a Scottish tribunal, grant or refuse a formal motion for recusal, or recuse themselves of their own accord, in open court, are recorded for the current year in the table below.
Previous years have been archived.
|Date||JOH & Court/Chamber||Case Name/Reference||Motion By||Refused /Granted||Reason|
|02/09/2020||John Blackwood - Housing and Property Chamber, First Tier Tribunal Scotland||FTS/HPC/LA/20/1643 342||Of own accord||Granted|| Conflict with respondent, who are clients of the member<br />|
|01/09/2020||Andrew Upton - Housing and Property Chamber||CV/20/0080||Of member's own accord||Granted||Conflict with applicant - Novantie Ltd |
|26/08/2020||Sheriff NC Stewart - Lanark Sheriff Court||Michael Cornwall v Sylvia Cornwall LAN-F18-19||Of own accord||Granted|| Sheriff's husband's firm/partner represents the defender in this action<br />|
|25/08/2020||Sheriff NC Stewart - Lanark Sheriff Court||HMA v Alexander Simpson LAN 2020-000064||Of own accord||Granted||Complainer is personally known to the Sheriff<br />|
|24/08/2020||Dr Tom Russ - medical member - Mental Health Tribunals Service||MHTS/3/20/08/0557/S050||Of member's own accord||Granted|| The member works at the hospital where the patient is detained and therefore felt that there could be a conflict of interest<br />|
|03/08/2020||Duncan Cartwright - Mental Health Tribunals Service||MHTS/2/20/07/02967/S092||Of member's own accord||Granted||Personal conflict |
|05/07/2020||Mr Martin Murray (General Member) - Midpark Hospital||MHTS/3/20/06/02917/S050||Mr Trevor Ormiston (Solicitor)||Refused||Mr Ormiston felt there may be a conflict given that the general member was an active MHO, although Mr Murray confirmed he only works as an MHO on an Ad-Hoc basis and only deals with STDC or Emergency detentions. The tribunal refused to specifically exclude Mr Murray although there may have been a perception of bias by the patient given the motion made. |
|28/06/2020||Dr Donald Lyons - Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland||MHTS/2/20/05/01724/S099||Of member's own accord||Granted|| Patient detained within NHS area of which, member serves on board as Director<br />|
|03/05/2020||Suzanne Sinclair - Teleconferencing||MHTS/1/20/04/00823/S063||Of member's own accord||Granted||Member has a personal connection to the doctor who completed the second medical report. |
|06/04/2020||Andrew Cowan - Housing and Property Chamber||FTS/HPC/PR/20/0399||Of own accord||Granted||Legal member's firm have previously acted in relation to matters at this property address|
|05/04/2020||David Reid - Murray Royal Hospital||MHTS/2/20/03/09828/S095||Of member's own accord||Granted|| This is an application to vary a compulsory treatment order. The individual participating in the hearing recently saw this patient in his role as a Designated Medical Practitioner for the Mental Welfare Commission and has therefore recused himself.<br />|
|18/03/2020||Summar Sheriff Craig Harris - Alloa Sheriff & JP Court||Blair Campbell SCS/2019-12523||Of own accord||Granted|| The first prosecution witness is known to Judicial Office holder<br />|
|11/03/2020||Tony Cain - Housing and Property Chamber||FTS/HPC/PY/19/4029||Of member's own accord||Granted|| The Ordinary Member was previously a work colleague of the respondent's representative<br />|
|02/03/2020||Dr Donald Lyons - Hamilton House||MHTS/2/20/01/08369/S095||Of member's own accord||Granted||Application for variation of compulsory treatment order. Member has dealt with this patient and the named person during his time working with the Mental Welfare Commission therefore the member recused himself. The member was only supplied with the paperwork on the day of the hearing as he had been requested to attend at short notice. |
|02/03/2020||Sheriff Khurana - Selkirk Sheriff Court||SEL 2019-000835||Of own accord||Granted||Personally known to the witness |
|14/02/2020||Joan Devine -||FTS/HPC/CV/19/4004||Of own accord.||Granted||Applicant is or previously has been a client of legal member's firm.|
|04/02/2020||Stephen Stables, JP - Dumfries Justice of the Peace Court||SCS/2020-001724||Of own accord||Granted||Accused's family are known to the Justice|
|27/01/2020||John McHugh - Housing and Property Chamber||FTS/HPC/RT/19/3633||Of own accord||Granted||The legal member's firm has recently won a tender appointment by the applicant (City of Edinburgh Council) to act on its behalf.|
|09/01/2020||David Wilson - Tribunal Hearing Eviction and Civil Proceedings Application||FTS/HPC/EV/19/3449 FTS/HPC/CV/19/3450||Of own accord.||Granted||The Ordinary member has conflict of interest.|
|07/01/2020||Sheriff M Neilson - Inverness Sheriff Court||NV/2019-1473||Of own accord||Granted||Sheriff had previously met with someone directly involved in the case, through a close friend.|