The Scottish Land Court is a Court of law. The Court’s jurisdiction is set firmly within the context of Scottish farming. It has authority to resolve a range of disputes, including disputes between landlords and tenants, in agriculture and crofting. The Court is based in Edinburgh, but holds hearings throughout Scotland.
The Court has a Chairman, who has the same status as a Court of Session judge, and two Members of Court, who are experienced in farming and crofting matters. The current Chairman of the Court is Lord Minginish, who was installed at a ceremony at the Court on Friday 17 October 2014, following the retirement of Lord McGhie, who had been Chairman since 1996. Lord Minginish was previously, as Sheriff Roderick John MacLeod QC, Deputy Chairman of the Court. The present agricultural Members of Court are Angus Macdonald and John Smith. Lord Minginish and Mr Macdonald are both Gaelic speakers.
You will find detailed information on this web site about
- the jurisdictions and powers of the Court;
- the process by which the Court resolves disputes;
- what you need to do if you wish to use the Court to resolve a dispute;
- recent decisions made by the Court.
Whilst the name of the Court is the Scottish Land Court, the Court does not have universal jurisdiction to deal with all matters relating to land. In particular the Court does not have any jurisdiction to deal with the question of ownership and heritable title to land (which are dealt with by the ordinary courts, i.e. the Sheriff Court and the Court of Session), nor does the Court have any jurisdictions in relation to urban subjects.
There is a close relationship between the Land Court and the Lands Tribunal for Scotland: they share the same offices, and the Chairman of the Land Court is also President of the Lands Tribunal. However, the work they do is quite distinct, and they have separate administrative staff and systems.
The Scottish Land Court
126 George Street
DX ED 259
LP 14 Edinburgh 2
Tel: 0131 271 4360
Fax: 0131 271 4399
Email: SLCourtMailbox [at] scotland [dot] gsi [dot] gov [dot] uk
The Scottish Land Court — the first hundred years
After coming into being on 1 April 1912, the Court celebrated its centenary on 1 April 2012 and published a book entitled No Ordinary Court. Further details may be found on the Court Centenary page.
The Land Court in pictures
George House (1); the entrance at No. 126 (2); the reception area (3); the courtroom, from the Bench (4); the courtroom, towards the Bench (5):