Sheriff solemn cases exceeded pre-Covid level in May



Last month saw the completion of 442 sheriff solemn cases, a figure that is 103 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has published today the ninth monthly workbook to show the throughput of criminal cases in our courts.

This shows the volumes of cases being progressed each month in the High Court, Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court from April 2020, compared against the monthly averages for 2019/20 (pre-Covid).

This needs to be read in the context of there being fewer court days available during May than the normal monthly average due to public holidays.

The figures show that during May 2021:

  • The overall level of new cases registered is 79 per cent of the average monthly pre-Covid level.
  • Petitions, which provide a useful indicator of future solemn business, are 16 per cent higher than the average monthly pre-Covid level.
  • 43 High Court evidence led trials commenced, which is 102 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
  • 58 High Court cases were concluded, which is 86 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
  • 82 sheriff solemn evidence led trials commenced which is 87 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
  • 442 sheriff solemn cases were concluded which is 103 per cent of the average pre-Covid level.
  • 433 sheriff summary evidence led trials commenced, which is 75 per cent of the average pre-Covid levels
  • 4,181 sheriff summary cases were concluded which is 88 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.

“Jury trials in the High Court and Sheriff Courts continue to operate at pre-Covid capacity following the successful introduction of remote jury centres.

“Sheriff Court summary criminal trials recommenced on 19 April with gradual increasing of trial loadings from 17 May, where this could be safely accommodated, and these have already returned to three-quarters of the pre-Covid average. Justice of the Peace business restarted on 7 June.

“The excellent collaboration across the judiciary, justice organisations, the legal profession and the third sector has helped get court business back on track and this remains crucial in planning for the recovery programme commencing in September. We will continue to publish these figures on a monthly basis to illustrate the progress we are making and the challenges still being faced.”

Tags: SCTS



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