Books of Council and Session

The Books of Council and Session comprise three registers:

  • the Register of Deeds
  • the Register of  Judgments
  • the Register of Protests

We use the registers of deeds and judgments on a daily basis.

Register of Deeds

This register's origins lie in the mid-1500s. Its full name is the Register of Deeds and Probative Writs in the Books of Council and Session.

The register contains original, traditional documents; most commonly wills, leases and minutes of agreement.

View guidance on registering deeds

Deeds can be registered for preservation in the Register of Deeds. We’ll retain the registered deed and issue an extract that can be used in its place.

In some cases, deeds can be registered for preservation and execution. Extracts of these deeds contain a warrant that grants authority for all lawful execution.

Inclusion of a deed in the Register of Deeds is voluntary. However, legislation may permit or require registration of certain documents. 

Register of Judgments

The Register of Judgments has two purposes:  

  • to permit certain overseas judgments to be recognised and enforced in Scotland
  • to enable certain Scottish judgments to be enforced overseas

The relevant process varies depending on the particular type of document.

Find out more about the judgment registration process in chapter 62 of the Rules of Court of Session [PDF, 272KB]

Register of Protests

The Register of Protests is a record of deeds in which payment is sought as a result of a previous unfulfilled agreement. This register is rarely used.

Updated guidance on Legal Writings Act 2015

On 30 June 2015, the keeper published guidance on the registration and recording of documents executed in counterpart. 

This guidance has been updated to take into account feedback received from external stakeholders on annexations to documents that have been executed in counterpart.

Find out more

Contact us at one of our customer service centres, or email