Kirkwall Sheriff Court

Photograph of the Kirkwall Sheriff Court  building

Latest covid-19 information

Please check the latest covid-19 information.

Hearings continue to call at Kirkwall Sheriff Court

Jury trials which would otherwise call at Kirkwall Sheriff Court were transferred to Inverness from July this year, due to the ongoing staffing challenges being faced by GEOAmey. 

We would like to make it clear that all other hearings, including summary trials and civil hearings will still call at Kirkwall Sheriff Court. Please only attend Inverness Sheriff Court if you have received a citation requiring you to do so.  

The Order published in July requires new jury trials which would have called at Stornoway, Lerwick, Kirkwall, Portree and Lochmaddy Sheriff Courts to call at Inverness, Aberdeen or Peterhead Sheriff Courts instead.

Sheriff Principal Pyle has this order under constant review and is consulting with justice partners with a view to returning jury trials to island courts when practically possible.

If you want to pay your fine or would like information and advice please visit our Pay a Fine page.  

Hub Courts for new, first instance custodies

New, first instance custody cases will continue to be heard in hub courts as first instance cases in each Sheriffdom as follows. Thereafter, if a further substantive hearing is assigned this will be to the court of local jurisdiction.

Sheriffdom orders

The following Sheriffdom guidance, information and practice notes apply to this court.

Please also refer to the Rules and Practice section of the website.

FileTypeSizeUploaded onDownload
GHI – Order No 1 of 2024 – Return of Solemn Hearings to Sheriff Court BuildingsPDF392.56 KB13 Feb, 2024 Download
GHI Act of Court No 4 of 2023PDF46.42 KB26 Sep, 2023 Download
GHI Act of Court No 2 of 2022 - Public & Court Holidays 2023PDF709.35 KB28 Nov, 2022 Download
GHI Act of Court No 2 of 2023 – Public Holidays 2023 AmendmentPDF492.67 KB22 Aug, 2023 Download
GHI Act of Court No 3 of 2023 – Public Holidays 2024PDF501.26 KB22 Aug, 2023 Download
GHI - Order No. 3 of 2023 - Transfer of Island Court Trials to Sheriffdom Hub CourtsPDF401.16 KB19 Jul, 2023 Download
GHI Act of Court No 1 of 2023PDF32.64 KB10 Feb, 2023 Download
Final - Sheriffs Principal Guidance for Court Users - Electronic Submission of Documents PDF227.19 KB24 Oct, 2022 Download
PN no.3 of 2022 - PIDM (003)PDF361.90 KB19 Oct, 2022 Download
Management of Proceedings in the Sheriff Courts (July 2022)PDF181.07 KB20 Jul, 2022 Download
Guidance for Court Users - Child Welfare HearingsPDF172.56 KB13 Jul, 2022 Download
Management of Summary Cause Proceedings Housing (Scotland) Act 2001PDF193.24 KB11 Jul, 2022 Download
Guidance Civil No 2PDF244.24 KB19 Jun, 2020 Download
Electronic submission of documents Civil No 4 of 2020PDF104.73 KB26 Jun, 2020 Download
Guidance for Practitioners and Litigants - Adoption Proceedings GHIPDF104.39 KB21 May, 2021 Download
Civil Guidance - Video Conference CallPDF126.59 KB03 Sep, 2021 Download
2022 Custody DirectionPDF239.43 KB19 Oct, 2021 Download

Kirkwall Sheriff Court was opened on 27 August 1877. The building was designed by David Bryce, one of Scotland's most important Victorian architects. The courthouse sits between the Historic Scotland sites of the Earls and Bishops Palaces. The building has one courtroom and sheriff chambers as well as office accommodation for the Sheriff clerk depute and the Procurator Fiscal Service.

Kirkwall Sheriff Court covers the whole of the Orkney Islands area.

Visiting Kirkwall Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court - Word version
Visiting Kirkwall Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court - PDF version


Contact Details

Postal address

Sheriff Court House,
KW15 1PD


Main telephone

01856 872110

Sheriff Clerk / Main contact

Laura Beth Macvie (Depute)

All commissary work carried out


DX   557986 Kirkwall

Jury helpline

01856 872110 is available from 17.00 the day prior to a sitting

Accessibility contact

If you want to contact us using text relay please follow the guidance at this link - the Next Generation Text Service 

If you require the support of an interpreter when you contact the office (by phone or attend in person), a telephone interpretation service is available. To access this service ask for telephone interpreting and the language required.  

If you use British Sign Language (BSL) and wish to phone us using a sign language interpreter, you can use the online video relay interpreting service. For more information see 


The sheriff court is in the centre of town and public transport is available. Use the journey planner for public transportation information.

On Arrival

On arrival please enter the sheriff clerk's public office, first door on the left. If you are attending for jury duty please come to the public office.

Wheelchair users can access the building via a ramp to the main entrance.

If you have any specific access requirements please contact: Laura Beth Macvie, Sheriff Clerk Depute.

Languageline facilities are available for anyone who requires the support of an interpreter.


There are a number of local cafes and restaurants near to the court building.

If you are sitting on a jury, lunch and refreshments will be provided for you if the court sits into the afternoon.

A loop induction service is available in all courtrooms for people who have hearing difficulties. Please contact the court if you require to use this facility.

Pay a Fine

If you want to pay your fine or would like information and advice please visit our Pay a Fine page. 

Opening Times

Monday to Thursday 09:00 - 16:30 
Friday 09:00 - 16:00
The office closes for lunch between 13:00 - 14:00 

The court sits 7 days a month.


Week 1 – Tuesday Civil; Wednesday Crime

Week 2 – No Court Scheduled

Week 3 – Monday Proofs/Trials; Tuesday Civil; Wednesday Crime; Thursday Trials; Friday Trials (business need dependent)

Week 4 – No Court Scheduled

Public holidays


  • January 1, 2
  • March 29
  • April 1
  • May 6
  • June 3
  • August 5
  • September 23
  • December 2, 25, 26


Please refer to the complaints and feedback page.

Useful Links



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