COURTS: DELAYS MEAN VICTIMS DO NOT GET CLOSURE THEY NEED

Work on courts recovery plan must start now warn Lib Dems as 75% of criminal cases delayed

Advocates, QCs and Sheriffs leaving an event at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Above: Dumbarton Sheriff and High Court in Church Street.

By Bill Heaney

Confirmation from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has arrived that new arrangements will be introduced in Scotland’s courts tomorrow that will reduce the number of criminal trials taking place during lockdown by up to 75%.

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said: “While measures to reduce the number of people required to attend court in person are sensible, there was a huge backlog of cases awaiting their day in court well before the pandemic struck.

“When cases take years to go to court, memories falter and victims don’t get the closure they need. People are spending long periods in prison awaiting trial.

“Ministers need to work with the courts service to ensure that a robust and properly funded recovery plan is in place to ensure that this backlog is tackled as soon as the public health situation allows.”

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