Страница: 4/5


Before the union of Scotland and England in 1707, Scotland had developed its own system of law, which continued after the union. The Scottish law system is based on civil law, which is derived from ancient Roman law, whereas the other parts of Great Britain follow the common law, which originated in England with the evolution of case law and precedents. Because of the different systems of law, separate statutes or statutory provisions often are enacted by Parliament for application in Scotland. Any statute must state expressly or imply that it is applicable to Scotland in order to become enforceable.


The Scottish judiciary is organized separately from that of the rest of Great Britain.

The two higher courts of Scotland are the High Court of Justiciary (criminal) and the Court of Session (civil). A panel of 21 judges is provided for both courts together. Major criminal trials are held before 1 or 2 judges of the High Court of Justiciary and a 15-member jury; criminal appeals may be heard by a bench of at least 3 judges. The Court of Session is divided into an Outer House, which holds all divorce trials and the more important civil trials, and an Inner House, which functions chiefly as an appellate court in civil cases. Appeals to the British House of Lords may be made from the Court of Session; appellate judgments of the High Court of Justiciary are final.

Each of the six sheriffdoms, into which Scotland is divided, has a sheriff court for less important civil and criminal cases. Petty cases are tried by police courts and justices of the peace.

Local Government and Political Parties

The Scottish Development Department is responsible for general policy in regard to local government. A reorganization of local government in Scotland was made effective in 1975, when the counties and burghs were abolished and replaced by nine regions and three island areas. The regions (but not the island areas) are divided into districts. Each of these units is administered by a council, whose members are elected to 4-year terms. The island areas, numbering some 700 islands and islets to the north and west, the regions, and the former counties, all of which are described in separate articles, are listed in the accompanying table.

Two leading British parties, the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, have shared Scottish seats in Parliament about equally since the 1920s. The Scottish Nationalist Party, which was founded in 1927 in order to press for complete self-government, has played a minor role in the politics of the country.


Many aspects of the economy of Scotland are covered in the article on Great Britain. The currency of Great Britain is the legal tender of Scotland. Both agriculture and industry are important in the economy of Scotland. The chief exports are petroleum and natural gas and manufactured goods, especially burlap, clothing, machinery, textiles, and whiskey. The chief imports are food and iron. The center of Scottish trade unionism is the Scottish Trades Union Congress, with an affiliated membership of more than 980,000.


More than three-fourths of the land is used for agriculture; approximately equal areas are devoted to farming and grazing. The most important crops are wheat, oats, and potatoes. Other crops include barley, turnips, and fruit. Livestock and livestock products are also of major importance. Sheep are raised in both the Highlands and island groups and the Southern Uplands. Scotland is also known for its beef and dairy cattle and for its dairy products.

Реферат опубликован: 26/06/2006