View Full Version : Hon sheriffs sworn in

28-Nov-13, 20:17
Courts facing "sudden and dramatic" change - sheriff

A CAITHNESS sheriff spoke of the changing face of the court service when he swore in new honorary sheriffs at Wick today and the challenge of meeting it.
Sheriff Andrew Berry referred to "sudden and dramatic" changes in the system.
He instanced the recent demise of both the JP and sheriff courts at Dornoch, and the loss of the JP court at Wick, under Scottish-wide cuts.
The sheriff told an assembly of police, court staff, existing honoraries, and members of the legal profession:"No-one would have seen these changes coming, a few years ago, but we all have to work with them."
Four new honorary sheriffs were sworn by Sheriff Berry who was deputising for Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle, indisposed with a trapped nerve. They were former local Justices of the Peace, Alan Clasper, Alisdair Burnett, Violet Blumfield and Leisa Swanson.
Sheriff Berry traced the history of the sheriff and JP courts and underlined the importance of honoraries in supporting sheriffs.
Senior fiscal depute, David Barclay, said that the honoraries appointed, already had "a flavour" of their new roles having served as JPs which would stand them in good stead in their new, onerous tasks and decision-making.
Solicitor Sylvia MacLennan. speaking on behalf of the Caithness Faculty of Solicitors, said that it was the end of one chapter at the Wick court and the beginning of another. She described as "perhaps remarkable" that in the current economic climate there were people continuing to volunteer and spend time and effort in making "a vital and valuable" contribution to the court system.