The Scottish Council of Law Reporting

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Publishers of Session Cases®

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Court of Session requires that where a case has been reported in Session Cases it must be cited from that source. Other series of reports may only be used when a case is not reported in Session Cases.”

Court of Session Practice Note No. 5 of 2004

High Court of Justiciary Practice Note No. 2 of 2004 gives a similar direction in respect of cases cited before the High Court of Justiciary and Court of Criminal Appeal. More about Session Cases in hard copy and online, including open access scottish law reports.

Macfadyen Lectures

The SCLR sponsors a series of lectures by senior judges and lawyers on topics relating to the broad themes of advocacy, the role of the judiciary, and the development of law and legal techniques.

What Is the United Kingdom Supreme Court For?

The ninth Macfadyen Lecture was delivered on 28th March 2019 by Lady Hale, President of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE, at the Signet Library, Edinburgh. Lady Hale discussed the evolution of the Supreme Court and its role in resolving difficult points of law to which the answer is not clear and which matter to a great many people other than the parties to the case.

The text of the lecture as delivered can be found here.

Women in Law

The Scottish Council of Law Reporting (SCLR) has a new team at the top and, for the first time, both senior positions are held by women.

Jackie McRae has moved up to chair, and her place as vice-chair has been taken by Angela Grahame QC.

The appointments follow a decision by Kenneth Campbell QC to step down after two years as chair.

Ms McRae, a solicitor working for Children’s Hearings Scotland, said: ‘Kenneth Campbell has steered the SCLR skilfully through an exciting period over the last couple of years, encompassing technological innovation, new editorship and additional reporting responsibilities.

‘I am delighted to follow in his footsteps to become Chair of SCLR. Our key aims are the advancement of legal education and human rights.

‘In this centenary year of Women in Law, it is timely that Angela and I are taking the helm. With our excellent Editors and Law Reporters, we look forward to taking the organisation from strength to strength.’

Ms Grahame, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, added: ‘The first volume of Session Cases included cases from 1821. The foreword explained that the authors undertook to collect and arrange the printed papers in each case, together with an authentic copy of the judgment.

‘The responsibility for collating such judgments no longer lies in the hands of individuals, but with the SCLR. Whether the original authors would have believed that we would still be reporting Session Cases® today is not clear. What we do know is that Session Cases is an authoritative version of each decision, whose accuracy is relied on by practitioners day in, day out in the courts of Scotland and also outwith the Scottish jurisdiction.

‘It is an absolute honour for me to have been appointed vice-chair to this wonderful body, which has and will continue to contribute so much to our legal profession.’

The Role of Law Reports

The SCLR offers a series of five linked short films about law reporting in Scotland and the place of law reports in legal practice. The celebrated ‘snail in the ginger beer bottle’ case of Donoghue v. Stevenson, which originated in Scotland, provides a useful theme as the role of precedent in the work of lawyers and the courts is explained. The films are presented as a free educational resource, especially useful for those seeking to understand the role of law reports as a primary source of law.

The five films are:

The SCLR has published supplementary teaching materials in the form of three Working with Cases tutorials, to be used in conjunction with the films. These are in PDF and are free to download for printing and or adaptation and distribution to students. The SCLR has also produced Working with Cases: Comments and Solutions. These resources are available free of charge and any law teacher requiring a copy should request them, giving some details as to their role and institution and how the films are being used in their teaching. To do so, please use the contact form.

Session Cases is a registered Trade Mark of The Scottish Council of Law Reporting.