Shorthand writers in Scotland’s Sheriff Courts have been given a salary rise (for them, not for clients ! - Ed) by the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee after msps passed an Act of Sederunt earlier this week awarding the shorthand writers a rise in their attendance fee to £39.25 per hour with their minimum charge now rising to £156.85. (Whatever happened to Lord Gill’s recommendations to reduce access to justice costs ? – Ed)
MSPs of the Justice Committee very briefly considered the Act of Sederunt on Tuesday of this week, the only member of the Committee to voice his concerns was LibDem Robert Brown MSP, who said : “I note that the instrument provides for an increase of 3.6 per cent in fees to shorthand writers. Given that there have been reductions across the board in legal fees and so on, it is not entirely clear to me why fees in this area are going up. I do not propose to make an issue of it, but I make that observation in passing.”
Made : 24th February 2011
Laid before the Scottish Parliament : 28th February 2011
Coming into force : 2nd May 2011
The Lords of Council and Session, under and by virtue of the powers conferred upon them by section 40 of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907(1) and of all other powers enabling them in that behalf, do hereby enact and declare:
1907 c.51; section 40 was amended by the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1913 c.28, Schedule 1; the Secretaries of State Act 1926 c.18, section 1(3); the Administration of Justice (Scotland) Act 1933 c.41, Schedule; the Divorce Jurisdiction, Court Fees and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1983 c.12, Schedule 1, paragraph 7 and Schedule 2; and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 c.40, Schedule 9, paragraph 1.
1.—(1) This Act of Sederunt may be cited as the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Shorthand Writers in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2011 and comes into force on 2nd May 2011.
(2) A certified copy of this Act of Sederunt shall be inserted in the Books of Sederunt.
Increase in fees of shorthand writers
2.—(1) The table of fees in rule 42.16(3) of the Rules of the Court of Session(1) is amended in accordance with the following sub-paragraph.
(2) In Chapter IV (transcripts of evidence etc.)—
(a)in paragraph 1 (attendance), for the amounts of £37.87 and £151.39 substitute the amounts of £39.25 and £156.85 respectively; and
(b)in paragraph 2 (notes of evidence: extension by shorthand writer or transcriber), for the amounts of £6.20, £7.59 and £0.50 substitute the amounts of £6.40, £7.85 and £0.52 respectively.
3. Paragraph 2 of this Act of Sederunt shall not affect fees chargeable for work done, or outlays incurred, before 2nd May 2011.
This Act of Sederunt increases the fees payable to shorthand writers in the Sheriff Court by 3.6%. The last increase was effected by the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Shorthand Writers in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2009 (S.S.I. 2009/103).
This Act of Sederunt does not apply to fees chargeable for work done before it comes into force.
Act of Sederunt (Fees of Shorthand Writers in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2011 (SSI 2011/166)
The Convener: The Subordinate Legislation Committee has not drawn the instrument to the attention of the Parliament or the committee.
Robert Brown: I note that the instrument provides for an increase of 3.6 per cent in fees to shorthand writers. Given that there have been reductions across the board in legal fees and so on, it is not entirely clear to me why fees in this area are going up. I do not propose to make an issue of it, but I make that observation in passing.
The Convener: Are members content to note the instrument?
Members indicated agreement.