National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS)

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS)

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is the over-arching independent administrating body supporting all functions under the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008.

They are responsible for:

What does the SCTS do?

As an administrative body, the SCTS operates as a central point for the management of all Scottish judicial records. This includes handling information requests under Freedom of Information, Data Protection and Environmental Information Regulations for all information held within records under their direct care.

Following a defined period, criminal and civil court records are moved from the SCTS record stores to the custody of the NRS for long term preservation. This process is known as ‘transmission’. For further information on transfer schedules please refer to these pages:


There is an established protocol between SCTS staff and NRS staff within Court & Legal Records for the transmissions of court records. All enquiries should be made to the assigned contact found under Contacting CLR.

Temporary Retransmissions

SCTS staff looking for information around temporary retransmissions, please refer to our Temporary Retransmissions pages for full guidance.

What happens to courts records after they have been transmitted to the NRS?

Once records have been moved from the SCTS records stores to the NRS archives, it is the responsibility of NRS staff to safeguard them for future preservation and access. As part of NRS’ duties we must operate within a number of UK information frameworks, including assisting with and signposting enquiries made under information legislation.

There are a number of ways in which individuals can request access to information held. Below is a summary of the main pieces of information legislation that guides this, however an in depth guidance can be accessed via our Primary Legislation pages.

Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation

Court and legal records contain sensitive personal data relating to living individuals. As a result, a substantial amount of court material is closed for a period of 100 years from the date in which they were created.  Only certain types of civil records from sheriff courts are now open.  Please see our research guide for Sheriff Courts. However, under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), subject access requests (otherwise known as SARs) can be made by individuals to request access to all information held about them.

Please be aware that under the DPA 2018 and UK GDPR, the SCTS is defined as the Data Controller and makes all decisions on access to court and legal records from the High Court of Justiciary, the Court of Session and the Sheriff Courts. All SARs for court records will be passed to the SCTS Data Protection, confirming if NRS hold any relevant information in relation to requests. Please contact:

The Data Protection Officer
Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD

Email [email protected]
Tel: 0131 444 3335

Freedom of Information (FOISA) 2002 Requests

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, otherwise known as FOISA is an Act of the Scottish Parliament which gives everyone the right to ask for any information held by Scottish public authorities, including NRS.

Under the act, the SCTS is defined as a public body and subject to FOISA. As soon as SCTS records are transmitted to the NRS for long-term access and preservation, NRS become responsible, under section 22 of FOISA, for handling all FOI requests for information in these records. We should be used as the main contact for such requests using the contact details below:

Contact by Email: NRS : Freedom of Information Mailbox [email protected]

Contact by Post:

Freedom of Information
National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street

Please be aware all FOISA requests for CLR records held by NRS will be subject to review by SCTS for possible exemptions before NRS is able to release any relevant information. For full information around FOISA please refer to our Freedom of Information pages.