Sheriff courts across Scotland have a new practice note covering the form of medical certificates where a person is said to be unfit to attend court.

Four of the six sheriffs principal have to date published a practice note in similar terms, all coming into effect from 1 October 2018.

They require that a medical certificate that a person is unfit to attend court on a particular date, whether as a party or witness, may bear either the words "I certify this on soul and conscience", or "I certify and solemnly and sincerely affirm this to be true".

The sheriffs principal to have made the practice note are those of Glasgow & Strathkelvin, Lothian & Borders, South Strathclyde Dumfries & Galloway, and Tayside Central & Fife.

In a case in the Sheriff Appeal Court reported earlier this year, a pursuer was held to have failed to provide satisfactory medical certification and his action was dismissed after he failed to attend.

Click here for current sheriff court practice notes for civil business.