Skip to main content

Scottish Land Court

Privacy and data protection policy

EU Regulation 2016/679, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), entered into force on 25 May 2018. The regulation lays down rules relating to the protection of individuals with regard to processing of their personal data, and enshrines their right to the protection of personal data. We respect the GDPR and this policy explains how we collect and treat any such information you give us.

Under the data protection law you are entitled to obtain certain personal information that an organisation holds about you. You may do this by submitting a subject access request.

Subject to certain important exemptions, you are entitled:

In addition, you are entitled to have the content of the information communicated to you and to be told of the source of the information, if known. For further details, including how to submit a subject access request, see the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service Data Protection page.

Information processing by the Scottish Land Court

The Scottish Land Court is a processor of personal data as defined by Article 4(8) of the GDPR.

What is being processed?

The Scottish Land Court is a civil court. It has authority to resolve a range of disputes, including disputes between landlords and tenants, in agriculture and crofting. It also deals with appeals in respect of decisions of the Crofting Commission, decisions of Scottish Ministers about rural payments and some decisions of SEPA on environmental matters. The Court does not have 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 or by the Lands Tribunal for Scotland).

The Scottish Land Court therefore processes personal data in relation to disputes and appeals about rights and obligations relating to land. This typically consists of personal data in relation to identity, address, contact details, property rights and obligations. The Court receives applications from parties involved in a dispute or an appeal; issues orders guiding and controlling the proceedings; conducts hearings to take evidence and hear the arguments of the parties to the dispute; gives a written decision on the case; reports decisions in the Scottish Land Court Reports and other publications.

Why are we processing this information?

Processing of Court case information is “necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller” in terms of Article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR. The Court’s present powers are derived mainly from the Scottish Land Court Act 1993, the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993, the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Agricultural Holdings Acts.

It is in the public interest that an accurate official record is maintained of case proceedings allowing people to establish and defend their rights and as a public record. Data held within the papers is analysed by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) for Management Information purposes. This involves interrogating data about cases to identify trends and patterns to inform court programming requirements. Management Information publications are anonymised and do not disclose information about specific identifiable individuals.

Do we process any special categories of personal data?

The Scottish Land Court does not process any of the special categories of personal data listed in Article 9(1) of the GDPR, that is: information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetics, biometrics (where used for identification), health, sex life or sexual orientation. Very occasionally it may receive information about someone’s health, e.g. a medical certificate, if they are not well enough to attend a hearing or if a question of wellbeing features in a case. This processing occurs in terms of Article 9(2)(f) of the GDPR — processing where courts are acting in their judicial capacity. Any medical certificate will be returned to the party who provided it at the conclusion of the proceedings.

Where do we get your personal data from?

The Scottish Land Court may receive your data from the following sources:

How, when and why does the Land Court share this personal data with others?

Personal data may be shared with the Crofting Commission and the Registers of Scotland but otherwise will not be shared with parties not involved in the dispute. Data shared with the Crofting Commission or the Registers of Scotland may consist of copies of Land Court orders, which may contain personal information (names and addresses); application forms and copies of pleadings containing names and addresses and information about the subject of the application; and historical information about cases, containing names and addresses and information about the subject of the case. Data is shared with the Crofting Commission and the Registers of Scotland when required to enable them to comply with an order of the Court (e.g. to modify the Register of Crofts or the Crofting Register) or to assist them in processing applications relating to crofting. This processing is “necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller” in terms of Article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR. No special category data is shared as a part of this process.

Where taxation of expenses is required in a Scottish Land Court case, case documentation may be passed to one of the Sheriff Court Auditors in order to conduct an independent determination. Case papers will be returned to the court at the conclusion of this process, which is carried out in a judicial capacity in terms of Article 9(2)(f) of the GDPR.

Selected case judgments are published on the Scottish Land Court website. This is a matter for the Court’s judiciary and decisions are published in the public interest. Specific judgments are selected for publication as a part of the principle of open justice and to provide a reference point for future cases.

Do we transfer your personal data to other countries?


How long do we keep your personal data?

We will only retain your data for as long as necessary to process your case and it is then archived in line with our Retention and Disposal Schedule. All Scottish Land Court case records are sent by SCTS for permanent archiving to NRS after 20 years (due to reduce to 15 years).

Do we use “profiling” or automated processing of your personal data to make decisions about you?

We do not employ profiling or any form of automated decision making.

How does this policy apply to our web site?

You may access this web site in its entirety without giving up any personal data whatsoever.

Data collection

We do not attempt to collect any personal information about you through the web site unless you provide it to us voluntarily; for example, by filling in our enquiry form. We use this data only for the purpose for which you provide it; for example, to reply to a question you have asked. Any personal data collected in this manner shall be treated in accordance with the principles set out elsewhere in this policy.

Cookies and tracking

Our web site does not use cookies of any description. (Cookies are tiny text files that are placed on your computer by many web sites that you visit. As well as helping to identify you as a first time or returning visitor to a web site, they can be set to track your web browsing activity.) Nor do we use tracking scripts, analytics or social media “like” or “share” buttons that build profiles of your internet activity.

Links to other web sites

This web site contains links to other web sites. The Scottish Land Court is not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of those web sites. We encourage you to be aware of when you leave our site, and to read the privacy statements of every web site that collects personal data. This privacy policy applies solely to this web site,

Further information

The SCTS general website provides more information on GDPR principles and rights (PDF).