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Previous years have been archived.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|
|07/01/2022||Lord Woolman - Inner House, Court of Session||P1259/18: William Frederick Ian Beggs v– The Scottish Legal Aid Board and The Scottish Information Commissioner||Agents for the Petitioner||Granted||Lord Woolman dealt with, as an Outer House Judge, a previous iteration of this case where the petitioner challenged SLAB's refusal of legal aid ( CSOH 13). The Petition was refused by Lord Woolman in that case. Lord Woolman is of the view that a bystander might reasonably consider his Lordship has already made up his mind, or at least may be prejudiced in one direction, having already decided a different version of the same issue after a substantive hearing.|
|21/12/2021||Duncan Cartwright - MHTS||MHTS/3/21/12/08063/S050||Granted||Granted||Conflict - Sensitive |
|14/12/2021||Sheriff Harris - Alloa Sheriff Court||AL20001083||Ex Proprio Motu||Granted||<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="892"><tbody><tr height="21"><td height="21" width="892">Sheriff previously heard a civil proof involving the same allegations, accused and complainer. Sheriff deemed it inappropriate as they had been privy to information through the civil case that may not be presented to the court during the criminal trial. </td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p>|
|26/11/2021||Sheriff Robert McDonald - Kirkwall Sheriff Court||PF v John Hamilton||Ex Proprio Moto||Granted||<div>The Sheriff heard evidence in a trial on 24/11/2021 where the accused in this case John Hamilton was appearing witness. </div><div> </div><div>Having heard the nature of evidence from the witness, John Hamilton on 24/11/2021, the Sheriff found it necessary to recuse himself in respect of the trial on 25/11/2021 where John Hamilton is the accused.</div>|
|18/11/2021||Duncan Cartwright - MHTS||MHTS/2/21/10/06006/S1012b||Member||Granted||Conflict |
|17/11/2021||Tom Russ - MHTS||MHTS/3/21/11/07008/S063||Ex Proprio Motu||Granted||<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="852"><tbody><tr height="20"><td height="20" width="852">Potential Conflict of Interest, since the Tribunal Member provides emergency cover to the hospital on the out of hours on call rota </td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p>|
|27/10/2021||Sheriff Andrew Berry - Wick||WCK-A16-20||Ex Proprio Motu||Granted||Practising solicitor having appeared before the Sheriff - likely to be questioned as a witness during the duration of the proof. |
|05/10/2021||SHERIFF ANDREW BERRY - Wick||WCK-A11-18||Of member's own accord||Granted||<p>The sheriff has recused himself from dealing with the proof given that there may be questions during said proof regarding credibility of solicitors/former solicitors who are in court every other day. </p>|
|19/09/2021||Sheriff Martin-Brown - Forfar Sheriff Court||FFR-B105-21 Allan Simpson v John Clenaghan||Lay Representative||Refused||The Sheriff was asked to recuse herself because of previous decisions made in respect of: (i) a criminal matter; and (ii) a civil matter.|
|19/09/2021||Sheriff Martin-Brown - Forfar||FFR-B104-21 Katie McKenzie v John Clenaghan||Katie McKenzie||Refused||The Sheriff was asked to recuse herself because of previous decisions made in respect of: (i) a criminal matter; and (ii) a civil matter.|
|18/08/2021||Sheriff Fleetwood - Elgin Sheriff Court||W. Beaton v W. Hendry ELG-A29-19||Ex Proprio Motu||Granted||The Sheriff has had previous dealings with witnesses of both parties.|
|15/07/2021||Marella O'Neill, Justice of the Peace - Kilmarnock Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court||Ewan Paterson SCS/2020- 061786||Ex Proprio Motu||Granted||<p>Reporting Officer and main witness were friends to the Justice of the Peace. Case adjourned to another date before any evidence heard, or witnesses sworn in.</p><p> </p>|
|20/06/2021||Lady Stacey - High Court in Glasgow||HMA v Scott Reid - IND 2021-1284||Of member's own accord||Granted||Lady Stacey wished to recusal herself in these proceedings due to the accused and his family being known to her and living within close proximity of her home address.|
|12/04/2021||Joel Conn - Housing and Property Chamber - Case Management Discussion||FTS/HPC/EV/21/0355 - FTS/HPC/CV/21/0356||Of Member's own accord||Granted|| The Member's private practice represents a company which shares a director and shareholder of Ecosse Estates Ltd. The director was present as an observer at this Case Management Discussion.<br />|
|06/04/2021||Elaine Munro - Housing and Property Chamber||EV/21/0273 - CV/21/0278||Of Member's own accord||Granted|| Member has a conflict of interest as she has a relationship with a party<br />|
|06/04/2021||Andrew Cowan - Housing and Property Chamber||CV/21/0492||Of member's own accord||Granted||Member is unable to take this case as his firm has previously acted for the Applicant's representative.<br />|
|26/03/2021||Lord Arthurson - Court of Session||Ordinary Action: A321/18 Lafferty, George v George Amil & M Van Overwaele||Second defender (M Van Overwaele)||Granted|| No proper basis was stated for recusal on the motion made, without notice, at the bar. Mr Hamilton (the lay representative of the second defender) said only that the judge could not be impartial and that this was provable by minutes and interlocuters. He did not state how these documents demonstrated that he (the judge) could not be impartial. . <br />|
|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.|
|18/02/2021||Mrs Aileen Devanny - First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber||John Brown v SPS Property Management LtdFTS/HPC/LA/20/0241 & FTS/HPC/20/0246||applicant||Granted||Member recused herself due to her professional involvement with the respondent’s representative.|
|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|