Additional remote jury centres to open in cinemas
Further plans to recommence Sheriff Court jury trials across Scotland have been announced with arrangements for remote jury centres to be created in ODEON cinema complexes in Ayr, East Kilbride, Dundee and Dunfermline.
Contractual arrangements for jury venues in Aberdeen and Inverness are currently being negotiated.
These centres are in addition to two remote jury centres already identified in Edinburgh and Glasgow where Sheriff Court jury trials are programmed to get underway next week.
South Strathclyde Dumfries and Galloway: plans are in place allow trials to recommence at Ayr Sheriff Court from 11 January 2021. Jurors will be based at the ODEON cinema in Ayr. Hamilton and Airdrie Sheriff Court trials will recommence on 18 January 2021 and jurors will be based at the ODEON cinema, East Kilbride.
North Strathclyde: plans are in place to allow trials to recommence at Paisley Sheriff Court from 11 January 2021. Jurors will be based at the ODEON cinema, Braehead, which is currently operating as a remote jury centre for Glasgow High Court.
Kilmarnock Sheriff Court will recommence trials from 11 January 2021. Jurors will be based at the ODEON cinema in Ayr. Greenock and Dumbarton Sheriff Courts are expected to recommence trials from February 2021. Jurors will be based at the ODEON, Braehead.
Tayside Central and Fife: plans are in place to allow trials to recommence at Dundee Sheriff Court from 25 January2021 and Perth Sheriff Court on 8 February 2021. Jurors will be based at the ODEON cinema, Dundee.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court will recommence business on 1 February 2021 and Falkirk Sheriff Court on 8 February 2021. Jurors will be based at the ODEON cinema, Dunfermline.
Grampian, Highland and Islands: plans are in place for trials to recommence at Aberdeen and Inverness Sheriff Courts in February 2021. The High Court will also recommence trials in Aberdeen in February. Dates will be confirmed once contractual arrangements for remote jury venues in Aberdeen and Inverness have been concluded.
Sheriff Court jury trials will operate from nominated courts in each of the six sheriffdoms with juries located in a remote jury centre managed by SCTS. Sheriffs principal are also making arrangements to transfer business in the respective sheriffdoms to the nominated courts detailed above.
The restart of sheriff and jury trials is overseen by a working group chaired by Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull and involves a range of practitioners in the justice system.
David Fraser, SCTS chief operations officer, said: “The commencement of trials in Edinburgh and Glasgow next week sees the restart of Sheriff Court jury trials. There has been exceptional progress to secure remote jury centre venues required and we intend to move as quickly as possible to the pre-Covid number of sheriff court jury trials proceeding in Scotland.”