How we fit into the justice system
We listen to views across the justice system and beyond and welcome input from a wide range of interested organisations and individuals.
As an independent, advisory body, our work is not directed by the Scottish Government. We take account of all requests from the Government to consider topics for sentencing guidelines, but may or may not decide to pursue them.
Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS)
The SCTS provides our staff, services and accommodation.
This is provided under section 62 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (Administrative Support) (Specified Persons) Order 2015, which made provision for this, came into force on 27 June 2015.
All guidelines are approved by the High Court before being put into practice. If the High Court requests us to prepare a sentencing guideline on a certain topic, we must do so.
Judges must take account of relevant guidelines when deciding court sentences. If they do not follow them, they must give the reasons. We work in consultation with judges when preparing guidelines.