SENIOR JUDICIARY (VACANCIES AND INCAPACITY) (SCOTLAND) BILL
Our Parliamentary correspondent Scott Wortley reports that the short (5-section) Senior Judiciary (Vacancies and Incapacity) (Scotland) Bill (see Nos 566, 570, for the background) is now available athttp://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/bills/65-senjudic/b65s2-introd.pdf
with explanatory notes athttp://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/bills/65-senjudic/b65s2-introd-en.pdf
Incapacity is defined in s 4 (1)(a) of the Bill as follows:
incapacitated, in relation to the Lord President or the Lord Justice Clerk, means unable by reason of ill health to exercise the functions of the office concerned;
However, in order to determine whether the powers of the Lord President should be transferred due to incapacity s 1 (3) provides
(3) For the purposes of this section—(a) the Lord President is to be regarded as incapacitated only if the First Minister has received a declaration in writing signed by at least 5 judges of the Inner House declaring that they are satisfied that the Lord President is incapacitated;(b) in such a case, the Lord President is to be regarded as incapacitated until the First Minister has received a declaration in writing signed by at least 5 judges of the Inner House declaring that they are satisfied that the Lord President is no longer incapacitated.
Subsection (4) then provides that (unless the Lord Justice Clerk has already had powers transferred to him under the Act) those signing the letter must include the Lord Justice Clerk.
The Bill was passed on 15 June 2006.