Clerks of court make sure that hearings in the Scottish courts run smoothly.
They prepare the courtroom beforehand, making sure that all the materials are ready. They meet the participants – the accused, lawyers, witnesses and jurors – and see that they are in the right place at the right time and know what they are supposed to do.
You could be:
making sure that everything is ready for the judge or sheriff – for example, paperwork, wig and gown – and remaining in court throughout the session to ensure that everything runs smoothly
checking that everyone involved – jurors, lawyers, defendants and witnesses – are present, and dealing with any problems that arise
introducing the sheriff or judge (in the supreme courts, carrying in the mace, a symbol of the court’s authority) and starting the hearing or trial formally
responsible for swearing in the jurors, calling the accused and witnesses to court and administering the oath (their promise to tell the truth) to them before they give evidence
labelling items of evidence and passing them to the judge and jury, and also passing messages between the court clerk and the lawyers
responsible for security and discipline in the public areas around the court
looking after jurors as they discuss their verdict, ensuring their safety and privacy and sometimes arranging overnight accommodation for them
taking brief minutes of court proceedings
carrying out other general duties like photocopying, processing mail, filing and data inputting or covering reception.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
The starting salary for a clerk of court working for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is currently £19,350 to £21,315 rising to £22,202 - £27,422 a year.
You usually work normal hours Monday to Friday in an office or in court.
There might be some paid overtime in the early morning or evening.
Part time work is possible.
You might have to travel between courts.
You might have to spend occasional nights away from home.
Skills for Justice is the Sector Skills Council for the Justice, Community Safety and Legal Services Sectors. The careers section of their website holds information on the careers within these sectors.
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