Advocate asks for more cohabitation judgments to be published

09 Mar


A plea for greater publication of judgments dealing with financial provision at the end of cohabitation has been made by Kirsty Malcolm, Advocate.

Ms Malcolm took part in an evidence session at the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament, when the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 was scrutinised.

Part of the discussion centred on section 28 – financial provision where cohabitation ends otherwise than by death – and Ms Malcolm described as “disappointing” the level of publicity given to judgments in relation to section 28 applications.

She said she was aware of a far greater number of section 28 applications, and decisions taken, than were published on the website of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals.

“For practitioners to properly understand an approach the court might or might not take, it seems to me that that is not going to happen unless there is publication of the decisions that are being made by sheriffs,” added Ms Malcolm.

“I do not know what rules apply in relation to sheriffs putting their judgments on the Scottish Courts website, what dictates whether they do and don’t…it would clearly help them as well, among the shrieval profession…if there is more publicity about the judgments that are being reached, then everybody benefits.”

Another point of discussion was the forms used to inform a child of an action and to seek his or her views. Ms Malcolm told the committee that wholesale reform of the forms was being undertaken and that the Faculty regarded them as “a wholly inadequate document.”

The Faculty’s submission to the Scottish Civil Justice Council on the forms is here

To view the evidence session, go to