The highest civil court in the kingdom of Scotland. The judges, called lords of the session, are fifteen in number.
It has extensive original jurisdiction, and its powers of review as a court of appeal have no limits. In 1808, it was divided into two chambers, called the first and second division; the lord president and seven judges constituting the former, and the lord justice clerk, who is head of the court of justiciary, with six judges, the latter. These divisions have independent but coordinate jurisdiction.
The high court of justiciary, or supreme criminal jurisdiction for Scotland consists of six judges, who are lords of the session, the lord justice clerk presiding. In this court the number of the jury is fifteen, and a majority decides. The court of session is divided into the inner house and outer house, with appeal from the latter to the former, and from the former to the house of lords of the United Kingdom.