View Full Version : New blood on the bench

29-Mar-12, 18:34
Honorary sheriffs... "a vital part of the judicial system"

THE importance of honorary sheriffs, particularly in rural communities, was underlined today, when an additional three, were sworn in at Wick Sheriff Court.
Area manager for community care, Bob Silverwood, retired depute rector, Gordon Beveridge and local pharmacist, Alexander Manson, were invited to take their oaths, by the Sheriff Principal for Highlands and Islands and Grampian, Sir Stephen Young. He told a gathering of leading community and legal figures and families, that there had been times in the past that the courts “could not do without honorary sheriffs” and he was confident that this would be the situation at Wick in the future.
The point was taken up by senior fiscal depute, David Barclay, who went further, and stated that smaller courts wouldn’t be able to function without the honorary sheriffs and, referring to the newcomers added: “You will not know from one moment to the next when you may be required, often at short notice and inconvenient times. Without people, like you making yourselves available, the system could not function. It is an important duty and a privilege and comes with responsibility.”
Mr Barclay said the role was not simply a case of sitting on the bench dealing with custody cases, the aspect of the post, the public see most of the time. There was an awful lot of time spent behind the scenes dealing with such matters as the signing of search warrants.
“It is a vital part of the justice system” continued Mr Barclay who added: “For all those reasons, it is good to see new blood coming onto the bench. This is a warm friendly court and I am quite sure that you will fit in quickly and feel comfortable and get on with everyone, and I look forward to working with you.”
Sylvia MacLennan, speaking on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, associated herself with Mr Barclay’s remarks.