Accused and their complainers are waiting on justice

Accused individuals waiting to stand trial on Stornoway and the remaining Western Isles are being forced to wait weeks for their day in court as are complainers waiting on justice to be done.

By Chris Faulds
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 8:44 am
Updated Thursday, 26th November 2020, 4:15 pm
Court backlog at Stornoway due to coronavirus
Court backlog at Stornoway due to coronavirus

This comes after figures revealed by the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) showed a backlog of 40 summary cases had been scheduled to proceed at the end of the last quarter.

The figures, published online, show that the 40 sheriff court cases were waiting to be heard after being scheduled to be heard in the local court at the end of June this year.

This follows on from 32 outstanding cases set down for the end of March, just as the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown began to bite, as government restrictions meant courts could not hear cases, which were essentially placed on hold.

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The backlog in cases increased during the national lockdown which saw adjustments made to scheduling and court practices to ensure social distancing was maintained.

These figures may increase as the next update from the SCTS is due to be published today, for outstanding cases as of September 2020.

The Court Service’s chief executive Eric McQueen, said:“Our courts are an essential public service and are open for business. Despite the Covid-19 restrictions we have put stringent measures in place to enable them to operate in a safe manner, protecting the health of our staff, judiciary and court users.”