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Previous years have been archived.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
12/11/2020 John McHugh - Housing and Property Chamber FTS/HPC/PF/20/1366 Of member's own accord Granted Conflict with the respondent in this case - The Wheatley Group - Yourplace Property Management 
04/11/2020 Mr John Blackwood - Housing and Property Chamber RE/20/2146 Of member's own accord Granted &nbsp;Mrs Lorna Stewart - Letters Property Letting is know to the member<br />
18/10/2020 Suzanne Sinclair - Teleconferencing - Mental Health Tribunal Service MHTS/3/20/09/05007/S063 Of member's own accord Granted &nbsp;Member has a personal connection to the doctor who completed the independent medical report<br />
13/10/2020 Lesley Dowdalls - Health and Education Chamber FTS/HEC/AC/19/0039 and FTS/HEC/AC/20/0060 Of member's own accord Granted &nbsp;<p>Pre-judicial case management stage. No hearing date set as yet</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Member is conflicted in relation to circumstances giving rise to a review application from the claimant arising from a decision where he disputes his agreement to dismiss a previously related claim. This would highlight issues of credibility and reliability for the member in regards to the claimant and would affect his perception of receiving fair treatment in the case. The member does not feel comfortable with this.<br /></p>
13/10/2020 John Blackwood - Housing and Property Chamber FTS/HPC/PR/20/0581 Of member's own accord Granted Member has a conflict with the respondent who is a member of the Scottish Association of Landlords<br />
02/09/2020 John Blackwood - Housing and Property Chamber, First Tier Tribunal Scotland FTS/HPC/LA/20/1643 342 Of own accord Granted &nbsp;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&nbsp;
26/08/2020 Sheriff NC Stewart - Lanark Sheriff Court Michael Cornwall v Sylvia Cornwall       LAN-F18-19 Of own accord Granted &nbsp;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 &nbsp;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&nbsp;
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&nbsp; Mr Murray although there may have been a perception of bias by the patient given the motion made.&nbsp;
28/06/2020 Dr Donald Lyons - Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland MHTS/2/20/05/01724/S099 Of member's own accord Granted &nbsp;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.&nbsp;
05/04/2020 David Reid - Murray Royal Hospital MHTS/2/20/03/09828/S095 Of member's own accord Granted &nbsp;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 &nbsp;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 &nbsp;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.&nbsp;
02/03/2020 Sheriff Khurana - Selkirk Sheriff Court SEL 2019-000835 Of own accord Granted Personally known to the witness &nbsp;
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