The Scottish government has verified judges will be forced to register their financial interests.
While judges need to declare relevant interests in a case before them they aren’t required to register them before a case appears, unlike the practice in some other jurisdictions.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown said the”openness scheme” will proceed.
He advised the Daily Record:”It was a manifesto commitment to create a register of interests for members of the judiciary to boost transparency and trust in the justice system.
“Now the new government is set up, we will start taking a look at ways this register could be introduced.”
Scotland’s judiciary has long opposed the production of any such register. The incumbent Lord President, Lord Carloway, has warned previously that such a register would dissuade applicants into the seat.
In 2017, Lord Carloway told the Public Petitions Committee that a register would deter attorneys from joining the seat and would help disgruntled litigants exact revenge after losing instances.
He said:”We have a rather small pool of attorneys of excellence that are capable of taking on the task of being a member of the senior judiciary.
“We now have particular difficulties with recruitment right now. If I were to say to mature members of the profession,’Incidentally, should you wish to be a judge you’ll have to declare all your pecuniary interests and open them to public examination ‘, then I don’t have any doubt whatsoever that that would work as a strong disincentive for attorneys of expertise and ability becoming members of the judiciary.
“I can assure the committee, we need them more than they need us.”
He added:”Until such time as it’s demonstrated that there was corruption within the judiciary, I’m completely satisfied that there is no need for a register of interests and it could be positively injurious to the administration of justice, especially in relation to the recruitment of judges and especially in the higher degree of the judiciary.”