Coronavirus (COVID-19): options for progressing the most serious criminal cases

Paper setting out potential options to inform discussions between the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and key stakeholders.

The purpose of this document is to provide a basis for upcoming discussions between the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and key stakeholders on the most effective approach to manage the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the Criminal Justice System.

Ensuring all parts of our court system can operate effectively as soon as possible continues to be an important priority including all civil, family and tribunal cases as well as those criminal cases currently heard at a summary level.

The Scottish Government will continue to consider with our justice sector partners any necessary and appropriate steps we can take in regard to those matters.

The focus of this paper and the subsequent discussions is, however, very much centred on the most serious cases (Solemn cases).

This is in order to be able to identify as quickly as possible some potential temporary solutions to the current pause on jury trials progressing during the COVID-19 emergency and to deal with the likely backlog of these cases in the aftermath.

The current intention is that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice will update the Scottish Parliament on the progress of these discussions as soon as possible after recess.

Back to top