Scottish Court Fees 2024-2025

Closed 10 Jun 2024

Opened 18 Mar 2024


 The Scottish Government, in consultation with the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS), usually undertakes a review of the court fees raised in the majority of Scotland’s courts every 3 years and, as a result, new court fees are set for the following 3 years. 

The courts involved in such reviews are:

  • the High Court of Justiciary
  • the Court of Session
  • the Sheriff Appeal Court
  • the Sheriff Court including the Sheriff Personal Injury Court
  • the Justice of the Peace Court
  • the Office of the Public Guardian


Following the review in October 2017, when new court fees were set for the period 2018 - 2021, there should have been a fee review in 2020.  This was postponed owing to the pandemic.  The last consultation therefore took place in 2021.

Following the consultation, the Scottish Government adopted a general rise of 2% to court fees with effect from 1 July 2022.  This was to be followed by further increases in 2023 and 2024. 

The rationale for setting the increases at 2% was to keep it in line with inflation. At the time of the previous increases, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) inflation forecast for 2021 (CPI) was 1.5% rising to 2%  in 2025  with intervening years just below 2%.

Since then, inflation has risen to a peak of 10.7% in 2022, with current rates at 2.9%.

In light of the significant, largely unforeseen rise in inflation, budget constraints and the significantly increased costs of operating the courts system, the Scottish Government considers that now is an appropriate time to look again at court fees.

In line with the current fee order that is in place, court fees are due to rise by 2% in April 2024.  This consultation seeks views on a proposal to increase court fees to reflect the rise in inflation since the previous fees order. We would propose to set this at 10% across all court fees. We would also propose to implement selective targeted increases on certain fees in the sheriff court.

More Information

The Scottish Government considers that consultation on the proposed changes to court fees and the level of fees set is important.  We will take consultation responses into consideration when drawing up the Scottish Statutory Instruments that will provide for court fees in the financial years from 2024 to 2025.  A further consultation next year will look at fees to come into effect from 1 April 2026.  That consultation will look at a wider range of structural issues effecting the fees system.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the Scottish courts are funded to deliver a justice system that is affordable and which provides a high-quality service to those who have cause to use the court system. 

It is also committed to continuing to ensure that access to justice is protected through a well-funded system of exemptions from the requirement to pay court fees and the provision of legal aid.

Despite significant financial pressures, the legal aid system in Scotland maintains a wide scope of access to legal aid for both criminal and civil cases.  Legal aid in Scotland is a demand-led system and all those who are entitled will receive it.

The Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Act 2018  (“the 2018 Act”) increases access to justice by making the costs of civil action more predictable and by increasing the funding options for pursuers of civil actions.  Part 1 of the 2018 Act imposes caps on the amount service providers can charge in success fee agreements.  Further, the provisions also provide greater availability of “no win, no fee” success fee agreements as solicitors are now able to enter into damages based agreements.

The 2018 Act also protects pursuers from the risk of having to pay their opponents’ costs in personal injury cases if the case is lost, provided they have acted properly. 

Beyond this overriding objective of ensuring access to justice, the Scottish Government believes that those who make use of the services of the courts should meet, or contribute towards, the associated cost to the public purse where they can afford so to do, thus reducing the burden upon the taxpayer.

Responsibility for setting court fees is a matter that lies with the Scottish Ministers and is put into effect by statutory instruments laid before the Scottish Parliament.  As these instruments establish statutory fee-charging regimes, which the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) administer, the Scottish Government works closely with SCTS on its fees policy.  The current statutory instruments (to be referred to collectively as “the court fee Orders”) are as follows:

  • The Court of Session etc. Fees Order 2022
  • The High Court of Justiciary Fees Order 2022
  • The Sheriff Appeal Court Fees Order 2022
  • The Sheriff Court Fees Order 2022 (as amended)
  • The Justice of the Peace Court Fees (Scotland) Order 2022
  • The Adults with Incapacity (Public Guardian’s Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2022

Read the consultation paper. The consultation paper contains full background information for this consultation. You may find it useful to read or refer to while responding.

Useful information about responding to this consultation

As you complete your response, each page will provide the option to 'Save and come back later' at the bottom. This means you can save your progress and return to the consultation at any time before it closes. If you don't use this feature and leave the consultation midway through, your response will be lost.

Once you have submitted your response, you can enter your email address to get a pdf copy of your answers sent to you.

On the 'About You' page at the end of this consultation, organisations will have the opportunity to tell us more about their work and/or how their response was informed.

After the consultation has closed there will be a few months delay before any responses are published. This is because we must check any responses to be published abide by our Terms of Use.

A analysis report will usually be published some months after the consultation has closed. This report will summarise the findings based on all responses submitted. It will be published on the Scottish Government website and you may be notified about it if you choose to share your email address with us. You can also join our consulation mailing list where we regularly list newly published analysis reports (as well as new consultations).



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