Skip to Main Content

Case law: online resources for common law countries: Scotland

Scottish cases and law reports online

Note: The term "the Supreme Courts of Scotland" refers to the two Edinburgh-based courts the High Court of Justiciary and Court of Session (civil cases),  
The UK Supreme Court is (as was the House of Lords previously) the highest court of appeal on Scottish civil law cases, hearing appeals from the Court of Session. When it is a Scottish criminal law case, the UKSC's role is limited to hearing only those appeals involving consideration of ‘devolution issues’ or human rights under the European Convention.

Scottish Citation practice

Session Cases (SC) report series are those of highest authority.
Thus a leading House of Lords decision Donoghue v Stevenson in Scotland is cited as 1932 SC (HL) 31; while in England it is [1932] AC 562

Some citations to Scottish law report citations you may encounter

D Dunlop's Session Cases 1838 to 1861
FamLR [Green's] Family Law Reports
F Fraser's Session Cases 1898 to 1905
HousLR [Green's] Housing Law Reports
JC Justiciary Cases
M Macpherson's Session Cases
RepLR [Green's] Reparation Law Reports
R Rettie's Session Cases 1873 to 1897
S Shaw's Session Cases 1821 to 1837
SC Session Cases
SCCR Scottish Criminal Case Reports
SCLR Scottish Civil Law Reports
SLCR Scottish Land Court Reports
SLR Scottish Law Reporter
SLT Scots Law Times
GWD Green's Weekly Digest

The Scottish practice does not use the ( )[ ] distinction in citing cases in law reports.

Most modern Scottish law report volumes are distinguished by year - in which case no brackets are used eg 1981 SLT 161

Where the individual volumes of a report series are distinguished by volume numbers, the date can be inserted in ( ) before the volume number eg Moore v Gledden (1869) 7 M 1296

An indication of the court which heard the case can be included in the citation before the start page eg 1980 SLT (Sh Ct) 56. Mostly as with this Sheriff Court abbreviation not hard to work out.

Neutral Citations (case identifiers) of Scottish courts

Since their introduction in 2006, higher court cases will have a neutral citation following the party names.

Court of Session Inner House CSIH

Court of Session Outer House CSOH

High Court Judiciary Appeal Court HCJAC

Previously the House of Lords (UKHL), and now the Supreme Court (UKSC) may hear appeals in matters of Scottish civil law