Sheriff solemn cases up to 82 per cent of pre-Covid level
More than 350 sheriff solemn cases were concluded in February, which is 82 per cent of the pre-Covid level.
Figures from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service show that during the month of February:
- The overall level of new cases registered is 62 per cent of the average monthly pre-Covid level.
- Petitions, which provide a useful indicator of future solemn business, are 10 per cent higher than the average monthly pre-COVID level.
- 42 High Court evidence led trials commenced, which is the same as the average monthly pre-Covid level.
- 72 High Court cases were concluded, which is seven per cent higher than the average pre-Covid level.
- The roll-out of remote jury centres to re-start Sheriff Court jury trials across Scotland was completed on 22 February. 56 evidence led trials commenced which is 59 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
- 354 sheriff solemn cases were concluded which is 82 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
- Evidence led summary trials in the Sheriff Court are 15 per cent of the average monthly pre-Covid levels, reflecting the continued lockdown and court restrictions in place.
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.
“With the lockdown restrictions in place, the criminal courts have focussed on the most serious trials, with the majority of summary trials in the Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court being adjourned. The High Court continues to operate at pre-Covid levels and with the roll-out of remote jury centres now complete we can see Sheriff Courts making strong progress.
“We are working closely with the judiciary, Scottish Government, justice organisations, the legal profession and the third sector to find solutions to reduce backlogs and we will continue to publish these figures on a monthly basis to illustrate the progress we are making and the challenges we face against the backdrop of a global pandemic.”