Rules of the Tribunal
The procedures under which the Tribunal operates are set out in
- the Lands Tribunal for Scotland Rules (as amended) 1971; and
- the Lands Tribunal for Scotland Rules 2003, which replace Parts I, II, III, VB, VC and VI of the 1971 Rules. Parts IV, V and VA of the 1971 Rules remain in force, together with Part VI of those Rules insofar as it affects those other Parts remaining in force.
You may download copies of the 1971 and 2003 Rules in Portable Document Format (PDF):
- Lands Tribunal for Scotland Rules (as amended) 1971 (15 pages, approx. 47 Kbytes.)
- Lands Tribunal for Scotland Rules 2003 (35 pages, approx. 167 Kbytes.)
To view and print PDF files, you will need a PDF reader, such as the Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is available free from the Adobe web site.
You may find the Guide to Formal Rules of Procedure which follows on this page to be a useful guide to the operation of the Tribunal.
Guide to Formal Rules of Procedure
This guide attempts to cover the formal requirements of procedures in the Lands Tribunal for Scotland. However, once an application has been started by use of the appropriate form, parties will be guided through procedures by formal Orders. It is not usually necessary for parties to know all the rules.
An informal explanatory note is available to assist in preparation for a hearing.
The formal rules
The Tribunal operates in terms of the Lands Tribunal Act 1949, the Tribunal and Inquiries Act 1992 and the Lands Tribunal for Scotland Rules 1971 (SI 1971/218) as amended by Amendment Rules of 1977 (SI 1977/432) and 1985 (SI 1985/581). Consolidated Rules are set out in the Parliament House Book at page N201, as are the relevant section of the Lands Tribunal Act 1949 (at page N12). Certain provisions relating to Tribunal procedure can also be found in legislation which confers jurisdiction on the Tribunal; for example the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1963; the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970; the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987; the Abolition of Feudal Tenure (Scotland) Act 2000; Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003.
It is worth noting that in terms of Rule 20 of its Rules, the Tribunal may regulate its procedure as it thinks fit. In the absence of specific rules, the procedure it adopts is likely to be similar to that in the Court of Session or Sheriff Courts. The Tribunal does, however, try to be as flexible as possible.
Forms of application, appeal or reference to the Tribunal are prescribed by some legislation. For example, Title Conditions (Scotland) Act. Otherwise an application should be in or as near as possible to one of the forms set out in the schedules to the Rules. Printed forms are available from the Tribunal’s staff. The form should be completed with as much detail as possible. Arrangements for intimation will be made by the Tribunal.
Under the Rules, fees are due for most stages of procedure. A fee is payable on lodging an application. Subsequent fees are requested as they arise. The current table of fees is set out on the Fees page of this web site.
When an application is lodged, it is allocated an application number according to its category, year and order of receipt: e.g. LTS/COMP/1999/14.
Service of application
On receipt, an application is checked and then intimated to the respondent by serving a copy on him or her or their agent by recorded delivery. Certain intimation can be made by newspaper advert. The Tribunal will arrange this but the applicant requires to meet the expense. The Tribunal will often also give notice to such third parties as it considers should receive notice and allow them to become party to the proceedings.
When an application is intimated, the respondent is usually ordered to lodge Answers within a specified period, normally 21 days and to send a copy to the Applicant, who is given the same amount of time to lodge any Adjustments he may wish to make to his Application in the light of such Answers.
In most cases the case will be sent for hearing at this stage. Some further Adjustment may be allowed if circumstances require.
Extending time limits etc.
The Tribunal has power to extend a time limit and may do so for a variety of reasons. If it is necessary to ask the Tribunal to extend a time limit, then a simple letter asking for an extension to a specific date and stating the reason for the request should be submitted. If the request is granted, the Tribunal will issue an Order to that effect.
Requests for sists or continuations should be given in writing. An opportunity for response will usually be given. Such motions incur fees. Any hearing arising out of such motions also attract fees.
The President of the Tribunal determines the date, time and place of sittings which are in public except where the Tribunal is acting as arbiter under a joint reference of consent (which will be heard in private if parties so request). Written notice of the hearing is given not less than 21 days before the hearing unless parties agree to a shorter period of notice. The President may appoint an assessor or assessors to sit with the Tribunal.
The membership of the Tribunal consists of suitably qualified legal members and others who have experience in the valuation of land. Any one or more of its members may exercise the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. Where two or more members deal with a case, the senior legal member sitting will normally preside. Any difference between members on a decision will be resolved by a majority or, in the event of equality of votes, by the casting vote of the person presiding. The hearing is similar to court procedure, following the familiar adversarial system: examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination of witnesses, followed by final submissions. Evidence is given on oath or affirmation. Normally the Applicant will lead.
Decision based on written submissions
If parties agree, the Tribunal may be prepared to deal with a case on the basis of written submissions. If so, an opportunity will be given to each party to put in a note of their arguments.
Any party to the proceedings may appear and may be heard in person. They may also be represented by a solicitor or by counsel or, with the Tribunal’s permission, by any other person. Such permission should be applied for in advance of any hearing.
A specified number of copies (normally 3) of all productions for use at a hearing should be lodged with the Tribunal and copied to other parties 14 days before the hearing. In valuation cases, which involve comparable properties, parties are required to lodge with the Clerk to the Tribunal a list of the properties from which support is drawn, 28 days before the hearing. The Clerk will then copy each list simultaneously to parties.
Written statements of evidence
Evidence can be given by way of affidavit. This is not the same as a witness adopting a written statement as his evidence. In the latter case the evidence can be tested by cross-examination and will, therefore, tend to have more weight.
In many cases, the Tribunal will inspect the relevant locations before reaching a decision. They may make an unaccompanied inspection. If it is to be “accompanied” both parties will be given an opportunity to attend. No new evidence will be heard.
Submissions on the question of expenses may be made at the end of the hearing or on receipt of the decision. Normally expenses will follow success but the Tribunal has a discretion and will have regard to the way in which the case has been conducted. There are some types of cases where the Tribunal does not have the power to award expenses or where legislation lays down how an award may be determined following any formal offer. The normal principles of certification of counsel and expert witnesses apply. If no agreement is reached between parties as to the actual amount, then expenses are taxed, in the discretion of the Tribunal, either by the Auditor of the Court of Session or by the Auditor of a Sheriff Court specified by the Tribunal.
The Tribunal’s decision, with reasons is given in writing. The aim is to issue decisions within 8 weeks.
An appeal on a point of law against a Tribunal decision is normally by written appeal direct to the Court of Session no later than 42 days after intimation of the decision. The Tribunal and Inquiries Act 1992 section 11 and the Rules of Court (Court of Session) Chapter 41, lay down the provisions and procedures for appeal. Provision is made in certain circumstances for appeal by way of stated case. In some situations an appellant has a choice. The Clerk to the Tribunal should be apprised of any appeal.
Legal aid is available in appropriate cases under the terms of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 in relation to proceedings in the Tribunal.
Further advice on the extent of the Tribunal’s procedure and jurisdiction, matters of procedure and fees can be obtained from the Clerk to the Tribunal, 126 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4HH (DX ED 259; Tel. 0131 271 4350; Fax 0130 271 4399).