Scottish Courts & Tribunal Service (SCTS)
JP courts resumed on 7th June 2021. The data presented in this report cover the first few weeks of resumed JP court business.
Criminal Registered & Scheduled Trials
Since the initial lockdown in March 2020, there have been 98,210 criminal registrations in the courts. 497 of these registrations have been COVID-19 related (0.5%).
In June 2021, almost all types of court registration remained lower than 2019-20 averages. Solemn sheriff court registrations appear to be returning to pre-pandemic levels:
- Indictments registered in the High Court were 33% lower than the 19-20 average.
- Indictments registered in the Sheriff court (solemn cases) were 4% above the 19-20 average.
- Complaints (summary cases) registered in the Sheriff Court were 17% lower than the 19-20 average.
- Complaints registered in the JP court were 26% lower than the 19-20 average.
|Cases Registered||19-20 monthly average||June 2021||Change from 19-20 monthly average||Outstanding trials March 2020||Outstanding trials June 2021|
|High Court||85||57||-28 (-33%)||390||313|
|Sheriff Court||454||471||+17 (+4%)||497||1,595|
|Sheriff Court||5,478||4,544||-934 (-17%)||13,971||33,598|
|JP Court||2,799||2,064||-735 (-26%)||3,497||6,945|
At the end of May 2021 there were 42,451 trials outstanding. This compares to 18,355 at the end of 2019-20. In addition, SCTS have forecast that there are another 6,542 cases in the system which are likely to come to trial but have not yet had a trial date set (see SCTS published monthly criminal statistics for more detail - https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/official-statistics).
In June 2021 there were 5,845 disposals (excluding secondary disposals and the ‘other’ disposal category) from Scotland’s courts. This is 80% of the 19-20 monthly average of 7,278 and 29% higher than May 2021.
Between April 2020 and June 2021 there were 46,349 (42%) fewer disposals than would have been expected based on 19-20 average figures. Over this time period, there have been 34% fewer custodial sentences and 45% fewer community disposals imposed by the courts than might have been expected.
30 June 2021
|Monthly average 2019-20||June 2021||Change %||Estimated* April 2020 – June 2021||Actual April 2020 – June 2021||Change %|
|Community Disposal (CPO & DTTO)||1,384||1,091||-21%||20,756||11,375||-45%|
|Restriction of Liberty Order||296||286||-3%||4,445||3,574||-20%|
* based on 19-20 monthly average disposals
Disposals from court at any point in time are related both to the volume of business coming into courts and the length of time it takes that business to proceed through the court system. Therefore, changes in crime levels or the ability of courts to function in the usual way may have associated impacts on disposals.
Further Information: Latest SCTS published official statistics can be found here: https://scotcourts.gov.uk/official-statistics
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