As you will be aware the UK and Scottish Government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis has escalated significantly this week. For courts and tribunals this has led to further restrictions on what is possible. “Business as usual” ceased to be viable a long time ago but in the guidance given on this website last week I indicated that it might still be possible to hold legal debates, as opposed to hearings involving witnesses. That has now changed: no hearings of any sort will now take place until further notice. If necessary, arrangements can be made to deal with applications for interim interdict under the Court’s agricultural holdings jurisdiction, but that is a rarely invoked power and one would expect even greater restraint in resorting to it in the present circumstances. Members of Court and staff are working at home. George House is open only for urgent hearings in other tribunals. Accordingly all communication with the Court should be by email to SLCourtMailbox@scotcourts.gov.uk. Telephone messages can also be left on 0131 271 4366. These will be monitored and responded to as necessary.
I shall let you know when anything approaching a return to normality becomes possible.
In the meantime, stay safe and well.
Scottish Land Court
26 March 2020