Applications are now open for the 2024 civil course of training. 

 

The course assesses both written and oral elements and includes a ‘ takeaway’ assessment to be completed independently and a written assessment and takes place on a weekday.

Throughout the course of training, the topics covered include workshops on written pleadings and lectures on appearing in the Inner House, the Commercial Court, appeals to the Supreme Court, judicial reviews, appearing as a Solicitor Advocate and using witnesses.

The oral assessment asks candidates to present an oral argument in a Reclaiming Motion from paper. This will be presented to two real judges.

It is possible that both the written and oral assessment exercises will involve an area of law with which the candidate is unfamiliar in their own practice.

Candidates are required to attend all training days in order to pass the course.

When you have been advised that you have been admitted as a candidate to the course of training you will receive your Sitting-In Card and further information about the course.

Each candidate is required to undertake up to six days sitting in in the Court of Session (of which four days must be Inner House). Candidates with experience of these courts are entitled to seek exemption but will normally require undertaking Sitting-In for four court days including at least two days in the Inner House/Appeal Court.

Sitting-In means attendance at the Court in Edinburgh at the hearing of a case or cases in which the candidate or their firm or their employer does not act for any of the parties, save in exceptional circumstances, such as members of the Procurator Fiscal Service. Information regarding remote sitting in will be provided.

Arranging your Sitting-In

Sitting-In is arranged through the SSC Library in Parliament House (Tel: 0131 225 6268 – Email: christine@ssclibrary.co.uk) who will contact candidates following successful admission to the course of training.

Sitting-In should be completed before the final oral assessment.

There will be a fee of £200 for the administration for Civil Sitting-In. We will invoice you for this payment when you are issued your Sitting-In card.

The 2024 civil training course and assessments will take place over three weekends:

  • Weekend 1: Friday, 26 and Saturday, 27 January 2024 (Atria One, Edinburgh)
  • Weekend 2: Saturday, 17 and Sunday, 18 February 2024  (Atria One, Edinburgh); and 
  • Weekend 3: Saturday 16 March 2024 (oral assessment, Parliament Square, Edinburgh).

Written Assessments will take place on Monday, 5 February 2024 in an exam setting

Summons, Defence and Petition for Judicial Review exercises:

Candidates will be asked to produce a draft summons, defences and a petition for judicial from materials provided, in a remote open book examination setting.  The standard is of a reasonably competent pleader in the Court of Session.

This is held approximately one week after the first course weekend (usually on a Monday). Candidates will use a laptop and must ensure that Wi-Fi is disabled. The open book setting extends to documents saved on their laptop.

Grounds of Appeal exercise: 

Candidates will be asked to produce a set of Grounds of Appeal for the Inner House in a Reclaiming Motion from a reported Outer House case.  This is to be done by a given deadline but outwith the formal course environment, ie. in the office or in the candidate's own time. 

It is quite possible that in the written assessment, the oral assessment, or both, the exercises will involve an area of law with which the candidate is unfamiliar in their own practice.

Candidates are asked to present oral argument in a Reclaiming Motion from papers, usually comprising a reported decision at first instance and three or four of the authorities cited before the Lord Ordinary which are thought to be potentially relevant.  That is to be prepared as if a full Reclaiming Motion was required, albeit in practice candidates will be allowed around 40 minutes or so to present parts of that to two "real" judges.  

 It is quite possible that in the written assessment, the oral assessment, or both, the exercises will involve an area of law with which the candidate is unfamiliar in their own practice.

Contact us

To find out about the training course, please contact us at civilroa@lawscot.org.uk.
Additional information
Following successful processing of your application, you will be asked to register for the course via our online registration form. 

The course fees for the training course are £3,300+VAT.  Payment is required in one lump sum prior to the course commencing via credit or debit card, or through invoice. 

For queries about the training course please contact Jessica McClure

For specific queries in relation to seeking extended rights of audience please contact David McDougall.