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Previous years have been archived.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
03/03/2021 Sheriff Andrew McIntyre - Greenock Sheriff Court PF Greenock v Mark Derrick (SCS/2021-003561) Defence Granted The presiding sheriff was a witness to alleged criminal conduct by the Accused at a discharged trial diet on 25 February 2021 and recused himself from presiding over the subsequent diet of trial.
05/01/2021 Sheriff WA Robertson & Sheriff WA Gilchrist - Stirling Sheriff Court B68 - 20 Breach of Interdict Of judicial holder's own accord Granted The main witness in this case is a local solicitor and as the resident sheriff knows him well they would not be able to preside over this case