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Law Society of Scotland

This organisation is the professional governing body for Scottish solicitors. 

Lay justice

Justices of the peace are lay people which means they are not legally qualified but are supported by legally qualified advisors.


Lay person

A person who does not necessarily have professional or specialised knowledge in a particular subject


Lay representative in civil cases

Someone who is authorised by you to help you prepare and conduct a civil legal action

Read more.

Legal Advisor

In Scotland, a legal advisor is a legally qualified lawyer who provides independent advice on the law and court procedures to justices of the peace.


Scottish legislation is made up of the laws passed by the Scottish Parliament and by the UK Parliament.


Offenders 'released on licence' are let out of prison into the community on certain conditions - which means they must follow certain rules. Being on licence means they are still serving a prison sentence but can live in the community instead of being in prison. While on licence, they must follow rules, for example, staying at home at night. If they break any of the rules, they will go back to prison (be recalled). 

Life sentence

This sentence lasts for the rest of a person’s life. Offenders given a life sentence will serve a period in prison or detention set by the judge. They will then only be released into the community on licence if the Parole Board thinks they are not a risk to the public. On licence means under certain conditions. However, offenders can be recalled to prison at any time if they break, or are at risk of breaking, the terms of their licence. 

Long-term determinate sentence

This is a custodial sentence of four years or more. 



Lord Advocate

The senior law officer responsible for the prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths in Scotland, and the principal legal adviser to the Scottish Government. Referred to as "Her Majesty's Advocate" in criminal matters and the "Lord Advocate" in civil matters.


Lord Justice Clerk

The second most senior judge in Scotland. S/he presides over the Second Division of the Court of Session.


Lord Justice General of Scotland

The most senior criminal judge, president of the High Court of Justiciary. This position is held by the Lord President of the Court of Session (see below).


Lord President of the Court of Session

The most senior civil judge in Scotland and the head of the Scottish judiciary. S/he also holds the position of Lord Justice General of Scotland (see above).