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Title: The development and use of written pleadings in Scots civil procedure
Author: Parratt, David R.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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In modern times, written pleadings, in Scots Civil Procedure, are the documents drafted by the parties to an action in the Court of Session or the sheriff court which specify each party’s position in law and fact. Pleading in writing has a long history. For centuries, in Scotland, the initiating deed or document was in writing. Thereafter, in court, the procedure was oral. In the later period, parties attempted to ‘inform’ and ‘solicit’ judges prior to the oral hearing. This practice developed to the point that parties to litigation would arrange for advocates or solicitors to draft written ‘informations’ which were delivered to a judge’s home prior to the date appointed for the hearing of the case. In time, the judges themselves sanctioned this practice but formalised it. This was the commencement of pleading in writing. By the eighteenth century, pleading in writing had all but replaced oral argument before the court. Reforms to civil procedure from the start of the nineteenth century radically delimited the scope for pleading in writing and specified how pleadings were to be composed and what they were to contain. In the first part, this thesis analyses this development of pleading in writing in civil procedure to the modern day. It investigates how the system of written pleading arose and blossomed, how it operated and explores the creation of rules by the Court for regulating its form and content. In the second part of the thesis, the ‘rules’ of written pleading are defined, and thereafter the strengths and weaknesses of the modern operation of written pleadings are examined. Arguments for and against the continued use of the system as part of a modern Scots civil procedure are reviewed and recent reforms to the system of written pleadings used in both the sheriff court and Court of Session are analysed, drawing on empirical research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available