National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Courts and Legal Bodies

Courts and Legal Bodies

These pages are designed to provide help and information to anyone with record-keeping responsibilities in the Scottish courts and other legal bodies which transmit their records to the National Records of Scotland (NRS). In the NRS the Court and Legal Records (CLR) carries out the Keeper of the Records of Scotland's responsibilities for these public records.

What CLR do

CLR sits within Archive Depositor Liaison and deals with all aspects of NRS’s relationship with its depositors.

The functions of CLR can best be summarised in the following list:

  • We accept record transmissions from our depositors in accordance with current public records legislation.
  • We appraise court and legal records in accordance with current legislation, and select those regarded as worthy of permanent preservation.
  • We provide advice to our depositors on best practice for dealing with court and legal records, both in paper and electronic formats, this includes developing, in collaboration with depositors, agreements.
  • We return transmitted records when depositors request them for their use.
  • We catalogue court and legal records held in the NRS, and promote public access to them through our public on-line catalogue.
  • On behalf of the Keeper deal with requests for access to closed historical court records under FOI(S)A within agreed timescales.

Read our transmissions section for information on depositing court and legal records with the NRS; the on-line forms required for making deposits and information on re-transmissions.

For detailed information about your area of responsibility go to one of the following:

Contacting CLR

The following contact numbers are for the use of staff in the Scottish courts and other legal bodies who deposit records with the NRS. They can also contact us on [email protected]. If you have a more general query about court and legal records – for example about how to get access to them or what they contain – please contact the relevant search room (Historical Search Room or Legal Search Room) through our contact us page.

Sheriff Courts Section Sheriff Courts
Commissary Unit of Edinburgh Sheriff Court
0131 270 3349
Criminal Actions Section High Court of Justiciary
Crown Office and Lord Advocate's Department
0131 270 3355
0131 270 3349
Civil Actions Section Court of Session
Registers of Scotland
Scottish Land Court and the Lands Tribunal for Scotland

0131 270 3355  


0131 230 3311

Alternatively, please write to:

Court and Legal Records
The National Records of Scotland
Thomas Thomson House
99 Bankhead Crossway North
EH11 4DX

Emergency Contacts

In the event of emergencies or disasters affecting the records in any way, the NRS should be informed immediately.

Conservation Services Branch Telephone: 0131 270 3308
Court and Legal Records Telephone:

0131 270 3311
0131 270 3313
0131 270 3355
0131 270 3301

0311 270 3349

  E-mail: [email protected]

Information Access

Within information legislation there a number of ways in which individuals can make request to access information held within the NRS’ Court and Legal deposits. For full guidance on this please refer to our Archives and Data Protection pages.