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Outer House

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Title: Outer House  
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Subject: Court of Session, Donoghue v Stevenson, Inner House, Duncan Menzies, Lord Menzies, Roderick Macdonald, Lord Uist
Collection: Court of Session
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Outer House

The Outer House (abbreviated as CSOH in neutral citations) is one of the two parts of the Scottish Court of Session, which is the supreme civil court in Scotland. It is a court of first instance, although some statutory appeals are remitted to it by the other more senior part, the Inner House. Those appeals are made from the Sheriff court, the court of first instance for low value civil causes in the court system of Scotland.

Judges in the Outer House are referred to as "Lord [name]" or "Lady [name]", or as Lord Ordinary. They are drawn from the Senators of the College of Justice and they sit singly, sometimes with a jury of 12 in personal injury and defamation actions. Jurisdiction is extensive and extends to all kinds of civil claims unless expressly excluded by statute. Some classes of cases, such as intellectual property disputes and exchequer causes, are heard by designated judges. Prior to 1856 the jurisdiction for exchequer causes was that of the Court of Exchequer, which has been transferred to the Court of Session with one of the Lords Ordinary required to be Lord Ordinary in Exchequer Causes, this was restated by the Court of Session Act 1988.[1][2][3]

Final (and some important procedural) judgments of the Outer House may be appealed to the Inner House. Other judgments may be so appealed with leave.


  1. ^ "The whole power, authority, and jurisdiction at present belonging to the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, as at present constituted, shall be transferred to and vested in the Court of Session, and the Court of Session shall be also the Court of Exchequer in Scotland": "Exchequer Court (Scotland) Act 1856".  
  2. ^ Section 3, Exchequer causes - "One of the judges of the Court who usually sits as a Lord Ordinary shall be appointed by the Court by act of sederunt to act as Lord Ordinary in exchequer causes, and no other judge shall so act unless and until such judge is appointed in his place": "Court of Session Act 1988".  
  3. ^ Chapter 48 - Exchequer causes: "Rules of the Court of Session".  
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