By: 27 March 2014

The Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) has said that juries should be abolished throughout the civil justice system in Scotland.


Responding to the Scottish Parliament's Call for Evidence on the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill, FOIL welcomed the creation of a specialist all-Scotland personal injury sheriff court, but said that it must sit in as many locations in Scotland and not rely on juries.


"The introduction of juries into these new courts would lead to uncertainty for those bringing cases," said Rory Jackson, Chairman of the Scottish branch of FOIL.


"The Bill presents an ideal opportunity for the Scottish Parliament to revisit retention of civil juries in Scotland. Experienced judges are best placed to adjudicate civil cases; their use would yield much greater efficiency and consistency and keep expenditure under control. Using juries means paying expenses and loss of earnings, inconvenience to jurors and uncertainty for those bringing cases to court – it's time to let them go," he said.


However, FOIL did say that it supported proposals for the introduction of a simple procedure for cases worth less than £5,000, which it says will achieve greater efficiency. It also advocates imposing sanctions to control expenses in low value cases to ensure expenses do not outstrip the value of the award in a successful case.