Number of Sheriff solemn cases completed approaches pre-Covid level
Last month 414 Sheriff solemn cases were concluded in Scotland, which is 96 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has published its latest monthly workbook to show the throughput of criminal cases in our courts.
The workbook details the volumes of cases being progressed each month in the High Court, Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Courts from April 2020, compared against the monthly averages for 2019/20 (pre-Covid). It should be noted that due to COP26 there were no trials running in the first two weeks of November for summary and Sheriff Solemn business. High Court trials were unaffected.
The figures show that during November 2021:
- The overall level of new cases registered is 84 per cent of the average monthly pre-Covid level.
- The overall level of cases concluded is 84 per cent of the average monthly pre-Covid level.
- Petitions, which provide a useful indicator of future solemn business, are 34 per cent higher than the average monthly pre-Covid level.
- 63 High Court evidence led trials commenced, which is 50 per cent higher than the average pre-Covid level.
- 82 High Court cases were concluded, which is 22 per cent higher than the average pre-Covid level.
- 48 Sheriff Solemn evidence led trials commenced which is 51 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
- 385 sheriff summary evidence led trials commenced, which is 67 per cent of the average pre-Covid levels
- 4,162 Sheriff Summary cases were concluded which is 87 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
- 1,921 Justice of the Peace cases were concluded which is 75 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
David Fraser, SCTS executive director court operations, said: “Our court buildings continue to operate in accordance with guidance from Public Health Scotland to safeguard our staff, judiciary and court users.
“To prepare for the impact of the UN Conference of the Parties (COP26) which ran from 31 October to 12 November, we revised some of our court operations in consultation with key justice partners to ensure we effectively managed court business. Sheriff summary trials and Justice of the Peace trials across Scotland were suspended from 25 October to 12 November and Sheriff Solemn trials were suspended from 1 to 12 November. Additional weekend Sheriff custody courts were made available at several locations across Scotland for the duration of the conference.
“The excellent collaboration across the judiciary, justice organisations, the legal profession and the third sector is helping to effectively manage court business, including the ongoing delivery of the recovery programme. We will continue to publish these figures on a monthly basis to illustrate the progress we are making and the challenges still being faced.”