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Not to be confused with Bailiff, Bailli, or Bailo.

A bailie or baillie is a civic officer in the local government of Scotland. The position arose in the burghs, where bailies formerly held a post similar to that of an alderman or magistrate (see bailiff). Modern bailies exist in Scottish local councils, with the position being a courtesy title and appointees often requested to provide support to the Lord Provost or Provost - the ceremonial and civic head of the council - in his various engagements.[1][2]


The name derives from Old French and used to be synonymous with Provost, with several officials holding this role often at the appointment of the Church.[3]

The jurisdiction of a bailie is called a bailiary (alt. bailiery).

The office of bailie was eliminated in law in Scotland in 1975 and today the position of bailie is a courtesy title.[4]


Notable Scottish bailies[edit]

Outwith government[edit]

Scottish barons often appointed a Bailie as their judicial officer.

See also[edit]