National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Court and Legal Records Policy

Court and Legal Records Policy

Since the 1930s, National Records of Scotland (NRS) has taken records from the central and local courts in Scotland. These are accepted under the provisions of the Public Records (Scotland) Act, 1937, ss. 1-3 as amended, and the Public Record Records Scotland Act, 2011 (PRSA, 2011).

The court records, public registers and Crown Office records are retained and preserved in NRS because of their vital importance in guaranteeing property and personal rights in Scotland, in underpinning the proper working of the civil and criminal judicial systems, and for their uses in historical and other research. NRS recognises the importance of maintaining an unbroken record of these functions. The constant increase in the quantity of court and legal records produced requires the NRS to maintain a stringent selection policy. The stringency of this policy and its rigorous application will ensure the selection of a representative archive of the records of the Scottish courts and legal administration, but it will also mean that NRS can operate within reasonable resource limits for storage and preservation.

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Our selection of court and legal records policy (271 KB, PDF, new window) has been approved by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland. It supports that part of the our mission statement which says that “We collect, preserve and produce information about Scotland’s people and history and make it available to inform present and future generations.”