COVID-19: Essential cases only to go through Scottish courts

Only essential business will go through the Scottish courts until further notice.

The Crown Office has announced contingency arrangements for court business aimed at significantly reducing the demand on the justice system and reducing unnecessary social contact to slow the spread of COVID-19 as it is now having a significant impact on the Scottish criminal justice system.

These arrangements will apply to all summary, Sheriff and jury and High Court business with immediate effect.

Essential business is as follows:

  1. New custody cases where a remand is to be sought on public safety grounds and individuals who have been released on undertakings to appear at a specified court.
  2. Custody Sentencing cases. Where possible the Accused will VC in from Prison.
  3. High Court Preliminary Hearing and Sheriff Court First Diet Courts. If the accused has been served with an indictment and have either a First Diet or Preliminary Hearing set down then it is likely that these will be postponed administratively. However all efforts will continue to be made to liaise with solicitors to identify issues that require to be resolved and whether the case itself could resolve.  We will discuss with solicitors if the accused’s attendance at court would facilitate these discussions. Please ensure that if you are self-isolating, showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or are in any of the higher risk categories if you are contacted about attendance at court.
  4. A small number of summary custody trials may take place where witnesses are available and it is possible to continue. Solicitors and witnesses will be contacted proactively where this is proposed.

See all of SLN’s latest COVID-19 updates here.

Share icon
Share this article: