Changes to Court of Session rules coming into force with the new legal year will extend the advance notice required for the court to arrange a civil jury.
Under the new rules, which amend rule 37.2 of the Rules of the Court of Session 1994, a pursuer will now require to request the issue of the jury precept not less than 70 days before the diet of jury trial. Where the pursuer fails to do so, the defender may do so, not less than 63 days before the diet.
Until now the requirement was 28 days for a pursuer and 21 days for a defender.
The additional time provided for will give the Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service time to cite additional civil jurors if large number of those cited are found to be ineligible, or are excused. It will also give qualified jurors more time to notify their availability and make any personal arrangements required to facilitate their attendance for jury service.
The new time limits do not apply to jury trials where the interlocutor allowing jury trial in an action is dated before the amending instrument (SSI 2018/266) comes into force, which is on 21 September 2018.