1) The impact on the justice system of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)
On 28th April 2022, Justice Analytical Services (JAS) published a summary report on the impact of COP26 on the justice system: summary. The data collected for this report resulted from a collaborative effort between Police Scotland, Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service & JAS colleagues. A summary of the findings as of 22nd March 2022 is presented below:
- 97 arrests were made by police
- 46 accused were reported to COPFS for prosecution to be considered
- 28 of those reported to COPFS had no further action taken
- 2 of those reported to COPFS were issued with a fiscal fine
- 14 were marked for court proceedings
- 1 was given a custodial sentence
- 1 was fined by the court
- 1 was not convicted
- 11 cases are ongoing
2) Remand and bail outcomes paper
The remand and bail outcomes paper uses a new dataset prepared by Scottish Courts and Tribunals Services covering hearings in Sheriff courts from April 2016 to March 2021, to help illustrate some of the key trends in bail and remand decisions, as well as factors that are associated with the decision.
The paper presents data on the numbers and likelihoods of accused individuals being remanded, bailed, ordained or subject to some other outcome at the first point in time when such a decision is made for each individual. The analysis shows for example that overall there were fewer remand decisions made from sheriff courts in the first pandemic year (2020/21) than in previous years.
The fall in remand decisions was due to the decrease in volume of summary case decisions (decisions to remand increased slightly for solemn cases in 2020/21). Although the total number of remands at first bail decision points fell in the first pandemic year, the overall number of remands for new solemn petition (more serious) cases rose.
Other key findings from the analysis include the following:
- Sheriff Solemn (more serious) proceedings are more likely to result in an individual being remanded and are less likely to involve an individual being ordained than Sheriff Summary proceedings.
- The manner in which an individual appears in court (e.g., from police custody) is strongly correlated with likelihood of bail and remand outcomes.
- Individuals that have previously breached the terms of their bail are far more likely to be remanded than those who have not.
- There was an increase in the number of decisions to remand in Solemn – which was driven by an increase in the total number of solemn petitions rather than the likelihood of being remanded.
- Both the rise in solemn petitions and the rise in remand decisions for those on solemn petitions is strongly associated with breach of bail conditions.
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