Journey Times in Scotland’s Criminal Justice System

An experimental statistics publication for Scotland

Accused persons’ journey times in Scotland’s criminal justice system have increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new experimental statistics published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

COVID-19 had a significant impact on the journey times of accused persons.  Across all crime groupings and court types, the median journey time increased in 2021-22 (post pandemic) when compared to 2019-20 (pre-pandemic).

Analysis shows that in the first 9 months of 2022-23, median journey times (from date of offence to date of verdict) were around 2 years and 10 months for accused in High Court, 1 year 5 months in Sheriff solemn court, 11 months in Sheriff summary court and 10 months in Justice of the Peace court.

The types of charges an accused faces affects their journey time, with the longest times occurring for accused persons charged with sexual crimes in the High court - a proportion of these will relate to historic crimes and the age of the offence will also impact on the journey time.

Read the statistics in full


These new experimental statistics have been published in response to a request for information about the length of different types of journey through the criminal justice system.

Further detail on data sources and the methodology used can be found here: Journey times in the Scottish Criminal Justice System - (

These Experimental Official statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.


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