The Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) is an independent body which mainly deals with serious disciplinary issues that arise from time to time within the Scottish legal profession.
As a formal judicial body, the Tribunal is constituted under the provisions of Sections 50 – 54 and Schedule 4 of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 as amended.
Complaints against solicitors in Scotland are channelled first through the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission who will refer conduct matters to the Law Society of Scotland, who will carry out an initial investigation and can decide to prosecute more serious cases before the SSDT.
The most severe sanction available to the Tribunal is to strike an individual off the Roll of Solicitors, which effectively removes the individual’s right to practise as a solicitor in Scotland.
The Tribunal is governed by a set of rules (Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal Procedure Rules 2008 can be accessed here) which must be approved by the Lord President of the Court of Session. The Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal Procedure Rules 2005 still apply to any conduct occurring before 1 October 2008.
The Tribunal deals with the following types of business:
The Tribunal normally sits with 2 solicitor members and 2 lay members: solicitor members cannot also be members of the Council of the Law Society (governing body in Scotland); lay members are drawn from all backgrounds and walks of life. All members are appointed by the Lord President of the Court of Session – Scotland’s most senior judge.
Further guidance on the Tribunal can be found on the guidance page.
Administered by SSDT Administration Limited, company number: 5376158
Registered Office: Unit 3.5, The Granary Business Centre, Coal Road, Cupar, Fife, KY15 5YQ
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