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Covid: Scottish courts backlog ‘could previous 10 years’


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Covid: Scottish courts backlog ‘could previous 10 years’

Image caption The committee said delays were not acceptable to victims, witnesses or those accused of crimes Scottish courts could take up to a decade to return to normal after Covid, a Holyrood committee has warned.The Scottish Parliament’s justice committee said “unpalatable” steps were needed to address the lengthy delays in the criminal justice system.MSPs…

Covid: Scottish courts backlog ‘could previous 10 years’

Bewigged lawyers in court

Image caption

The committee said delays had been not satisfactory to victims, witnesses or those accused of crimes

Scottish courts could choose up to a decade to return to standard just after Covid, a Holyrood committee has warned.

The Scottish Parliament’s justice committee mentioned “unpalatable” steps had been essential to tackle the prolonged delays in the legal justice method.

MSPs have been seeking at the influence of the coronavirus disaster on the courts.

Committee convener Adam Tomkins described the present-day stage of delays faced by people concerned in legal situations as “not acceptable”.

Mr Tomkins mentioned: “The scale of the challenge faced by our courts is not to be underestimated. Present delays are not suitable for the victims, witnesses or these accused of crimes.

“While that position might not be controversial, we have to have to make sure variations to enhance the circumstance, irrespective of whether prolonged or short time period, have the widest doable backing.

“To that close, we want the Scottish federal government to convene a assembly of all interested functions to agree a way ahead. Time is of the essence.”

Cinema juries

The committee’s report praised the use of remote jury centres centered in cinemas and said far more electronic know-how was desired.

It also suggested the consideration of extending court docket sitting down hrs and sentencing bargains for these pleading guilty at an early stage on prison proceedings.

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But it arrived out from the concept of keeping trials without juries in significant criminal cases.

Mr Tomkins included: “Although the issues are at their worst in the prison courts, there is nonetheless a mismatch in our civil courts, which are mostly performing, and other companies joined to them, this kind of as family members get in touch with centres, which are at very best partly open.”

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