The long-awaited Bill on the judiciary made its Scottish Parliamentary bow on 30 January 2008.  The Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Bill makes provision for unifying the judiciary under the Lord President, giving the office of the Lord President new powers with regard to training, welfare, conduct and deployment of the judiciary.  It also gives the Lord President responsibility for the efficient disposal of business in all Scottish Courts.  The Judicial Appointments Board is placed on a statutory footing, and the grounds of eligibility for appointment as a judge are slightly extended, along with rules on removal.  New governance arrangements for the Scottish Court Service are put in place by making it a body corporate of 13 members, chaired by the Lord President with the majority of members being judicial members.  There is also a statutory provision for judicial independence as follows:

1 Guarantee of continued judicial independence


(1) The following persons must uphold the continued independence of the judiciary—


(a) the First Minister,

(b) the Lord Advocate,

(c) the Scottish Ministers, and

(d) all other persons with responsibility for matters relating to—


(i) the judiciary, or

(ii) the administration of justice,


where that responsibility is to be discharged only in or as regards Scotland.


(2) In pursuance of subsection (1), the First Minister, the Lord Advocate and the Scottish Ministers—


(a) must not seek to influence particular judicial decisions through any special access to the judiciary, and

(b) must have regard to the need for the judiciary to have the support necessary to enable them to carry out their functions.


(3) In this section the judiciary” means the judiciary of—


(a) the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom