New justice hub to open in Dundee next year

New justice hub to open in Dundee next year

A new ‘justice hub’ is set to open in Dundee next year.

The hub, which will provide a trauma-informed evidence by commission (EBC) suite and live link evidence facilities, will serve both the High Court and Sheriff Courts across Tayside, Central and Fife.

The EBC suite enables vulnerable witnesses to have their evidence and cross examination pre-recorded in advance of the trial taking place, minimising further trauma by removing the need to attend court in-person. Once operational, this will be the fifth bespoke EBC suite in Scotland.

In addition to the EBC suite the hub will also include a digitally enabled civil court room, with the self-contained evidence suite providing two additional vulnerable witness live-link rooms to support the most vulnerable in society when giving evidence remotely to court.

Justice Secretary Angela Constance said: “Victims and witnesses can find interacting with the court system a daunting prospect. The new justice hub in Dundee has been specially designed to better support victims and witnesses through the court system. This includes when giving evidence to help reduce the risk of re-traumatisation.

“These premises are an important step in improving people’s experience of the criminal and civil justice courts and in achieving a modern, resilient and person-centred justice system.”

Sheriff Principal Gillian Wade KC, Sheriff Principal of Tayside, Central and Fife, said: “A great deal of time and effort has been devoted to the planning, securing and designing of this impressive facility.

“The new Dundee Justice Hub will be a much welcomed addition to the court estate. It will enable the delivery of justice in an environment tailored to contemporary needs and underlines the commitment of us all to enhancing the court experience for everyone who needs our services.

“I shall watch the progression of the works with great interest and look forward to the opening of the Hub next summer.”

Eric McQueen, chief executive of SCTS, said: “We recognise that attending court to give evidence can be a daunting and, for some people, a traumatic experience. The creation of the Justice Hub is a further step in our strive to modernise our services by ensuring the most vulnerable can have their evidence pre-recorded or can give their evidence by live link from the justice hub to the courtroom, while reducing the risk of further traumatisation as far as possible.”

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