Procedure: commission
An act concerning the reformation of the college of justice

Our sovereign lord and his three estates convened in this present parliament, being informed of the complaints and lamentations of sundry his good subjects, of such enormities, corruption and delays used in the session and college of justice, to the great prejudice of his majesty and whole estates, which being indeed as the informations have been made, deserves speedy and good reformation or otherwise that seat, having such credit, honour and authority, to be relieved of the slander; for the better trial of the truth and circumstances whereon the said complaints proceeds, his majesty, with advice of his said three estates, gives and grants full power and commission to his right trusty cousins and councillors, Colin [Campbell], earl of Argyll, lord Campbell and Lorne, his highness's chancellor and justice general, and James [Stewart], earl of Arran, lord Aven and Hamilton, now chancellor the time of the said Earl of Argyll's non-residence, John [Graham], earl of Montrose, lord Graham, his highness's treasurer, and Sir John Maitland of Thirlestane, knight, his majesty's principal secretary, or any three thereof, that they, by themselves and such other of best fame and experience as they shall call to them, try and take cognisance of the verity of the said enormities, corruption and unnecessary delays, as also what persons now being of the session are evil affected to his majesty, his present estate and proceedings, and to give their advice and opinion whom they think suitable to be displaced and discharged, that they may be removed out of the said session; and to give his majesty also their true advice and opinion of the most worthy and qualified persons to be placed of new in their rooms; as also to prescribe and appoint such good rules and constitutions as they shall think most requisite for reformation of such enormities, corruption and delays as they shall try to have been in the session and college of justice in time bygone, to the effect that his majesty and his said college of justice may ratify, approve and authorise the same to have been of full effect and force hereafter, that the said commissioners present the effect of this present act to execution between now and 12 December 1583, as they will answer to his highness upon their diligence and obedience.

  1. NAS, PA2/12, ff.126r-v.