The Court of Session, High Courts, Sheriff Courts and Justice of the Peace Courts are administered by the Scottish Court Service (SCS). The Scottish Court Service is also responsible for the Office of the Public Guardian.
In Scotland, the Superior Courts consist of the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary. The Principal Clerk of Session and Justiciary is responsible for the administration of these courts. The Principal Clerk is based at Parliament House in Edinburgh.
The Court of Session is the supreme civil court in Scotland and is situated at Parliament House in Edinburgh. It sits in an appeal capacity and also as a civil court dealing with disputes between people or organisations. These might involve cases relating to debt, damages, divorce and children. The principal judge is called the Lord President. Administrative functions are mainly dealt with by the General, Petition and Inner House and Extracts Departments.
The High Court of Justiciary deals with criminal appeals and serious criminal cases. Trials are held before a judge and jury. In Scotland a jury consists of fifteen people who are selected for each trial by means of a ballot. People cited to attend for jury service are chosen randomly from the electoral roll. Although the Court is based in Edinburgh, trials are held in towns and cities throughout Scotland as a means of reducing inconvenience to witnesses, jurors and court users.
The principal judge is called the Lord Justice-General.