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Sheriff to be removed from office

Tribunal found Jack Brown ‘unfit for judicial office’.

Sheriff Jack Brown is to be removed from office.

The First Minister today laid an order before the Scottish Parliament that will mean Sheriff Brown, who sits in the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands, is removed from office on 7 June 2024.

The move follows an independent tribunal report which found that the Sheriff’s misbehaviour renders him unfit for judicial office.

First Minister John Swinney said:

“Given the nature and gravity of the tribunal’s findings, there are compelling reasons to remove Sheriff Brown. The tribunal has reported serious concerns as to his character and integrity, contrary to the standards of conduct and probity expected of anyone holding judicial office.”


In October 2018, the then First Minister constituted a Tribunal under Section 21 of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 to investigate and report on whether Sheriff John Brown – known as Jack – was unfit to hold the office by reason of misbehaviour. This followed a request by the Lord President.

In March 2021, the Tribunal concluded that whilst Sheriff Brown acted inappropriately, he was not unfit to hold judicial office. A petition for Judicial Review was lodged and on 8 February 2022, the Tribunal’s decision was quashed by the Court of Session on the basis that the Tribunal had proceeded in ignorance of the availability of other evidence from other witnesses.

A fresh Tribunal was convened in September 2022. On 28 March 2024, the Tribunal reported that the judicial office holder’s misbehaviour renders him unfit for judicial office.

Under section 25 of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 Act, if a tribunal reports to the First Minister that a judicial office holder is unfit to hold office by reason of inability, neglect or misbehaviour, the First Minister may remove them from office by order, made by statutory instrument under the negative procedure.

Sheriff John Brown fitness for judicial office: tribunal report


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