The Court is the University’s governing body and is the legal persona of the University.
By the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889, the University Court is a body corporate, with perpetual succession and a common seal; and all the property belonging to the University at the passing of the Act was vested in the Court.
The present powers of the Court are defined in the Universities (Scotland) Act 1966, and include among others:
- the administration and management of the whole revenue and property of the University;
- the regulation of the salaries of all members of staff; and
- the establishment of Committees of its own members or others and the determination of the membership and the quorum of such committees.
The 1966 Act stipulates the procedures by which Court may exercise its powers.
- by Ordinance, which requires consultation with the General Council, the Senatus Academicus and others having an interest and then Privy Council approval;
- by Resolution, which similarly requires consultation with the General Council, Senatus Academicus and others having an interest but not approval by Privy Council;
- or by simple decision without the need for formal consultation.
Emergency procedures are stipulated in the Act intended to accelerate the Ordinance and Resolution procedures in cases of urgency.