– John Lamont MSP, Scottish Conservative
“While many of the aims outlined today are welcome, it is utterly shortsighted to close a quarter of sheriff courts one minute, then send them considerably more work the next.
“The SNP has already being told that fewer sheriff courts would struggle to cope with the criminal caseload they had been left with.
“So, Kenny MacAskill’s answer to that is to send even more cases to already overworked sheriff courts.
Plans for a major overhaul of Scotland's court system have been unveiled.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill wants more cases to be dealt with at local level, instead of at the Court of Session.
At the moment civil cases can only be heard in local Sheriff courts if the claim is less than £5000.
He wants to increase that threshold to £150,000.
There are also plans for a new specialist court to deal with personal injury claims