The following examples of the Court’s statutory jurisdiction indicate the kind of disputes that it can deal with.
Prior to the passing of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003, most disputes about agricultural holdings were referred to statutory arbitration. However the effect of the 2003 Act was to amend the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991 and now confers wide powers on the Court to determine, for example, whether a tenancy of an agricultural holding exists or has been terminated, or any question of difference between the landlord and tenant of a holding. However, matters relating to the question of who is entitled to succeed to the estate of a deceased person or the validity of a bequest were not included within these powers. In addition, the Court was given jurisdiction to hear and determine any matter relating to a short limited duration tenancy or a limited duration tenancy. Specific powers were given to the Court in terms of section 84 of the Act of 2003, for example, to grant a decree of interdict or removal.
Under the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 the Court has, for example, jurisdiction
- to determine whether a holding is a croft within the terms of the 1993 Act;
- to determine the extent and boundaries of a croft;
- to determine a fair rent for the croft;
- to authorise a landlord to resume (that is, to take back) croft land or common grazings for a reasonable purpose;
- to determine rights of access;
- to authorise a crofter to acquire a heritable title to his croft from his landlord;
- to deal with appeals from decisions or determinations of the Crofting Commission.
Following the passing of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, the Court now also has jurisdiction to deal with challenges to the first registration of crofts or common grazings in the Crofting Register.
The Court also deals with appeals from decisions of Scottish Ministers in relation to rural payments (EU subsidies) under the Rural Payments (Appeals) (Scotland) Regulations 2009.