(417)  NEUTRAL CITATION ARRIVES IN THE COURT OF SESSION

Somewhat belatedly, the Court of Session hanselled 2005 by introducing a neutral citation system for referring to its judicial decisions.  Such systems were introduced internationally in the late 1990s so that one could tell from the citation the year of a decision and the court which gave it, together with a sequential number within the year in question.  Alongside paragraph numbers in judgments, which the Scottish courts did adopt some years ago, the system is intended to facilitate citation of page-less Internet and other computer versions of court decisions in the same manner as traditional law reports.  The Court of Session system is as follows:

CSIH – Court of Session Inner House

CSOH – Court of Session Outer House

So far as Scots Law News has noted, no system has yet emerged for sheriff court decisions; but we do already have UKHL for the House of Lords.  Given that Canada has snaffled SCC for its own Supreme Court (a decision which it is thought contributed to the Scottish difficulties in joining the system), perhaps SCUK will be the answer there.  But that may have its own difficulties, as fans of FCUK and derogatory phraseology teen-style will be quick to work out.  If you don’t know about this, see the enlightening judgment of Rattee J in French Connection v Sutton [2000] ETMR 341 (no neutral citation available, but it is on Westlaw) and such websites as schoolsucks.com (no responsibility accepted for what you find there).

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