First Online Hearings

Apr 17, 2020

The first online court hearings in response to the Coronavirus situation get underway next week. The Court of Session virtual court will convene with an Inner House case on Tuesday 21 April before the Lord President, Lord Carloway, sitting with Lords Menzies and Brodie. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has been working with parties to pilot and agree proceedings in the virtual court.

SCTS Chief Executive Eric McQueen said: “We are grateful to the judiciary, staff, Faculty and parties who have worked with us to create the virtual Inner House Appeal Court. While this is an immediate response to Coronavirus there is no doubt that the learning will inform our thinking to make virtual courts a permanent addition to our Scottish courts. It is thanks to everyone’s commitment and support that we are able to create the online court and to introduce remote hearings into the Outer House.

“We are currently in discussion with sheriffs principal and the Law Society for Scotland on the scope of urgent and essential civil business in sheriff courts, to assess whether other business can be carried out remotely and what phased steps can be taken.”

Inner House and Outer House Hearings Online

Four Inner House appeal hearings will take place next week as online hearings.
Court Rolls for the Inner House are available here and for the procedural business in the Outer House here.  Arrangements are currently being made for future hearings with representatives and when confirmed will be published on the Court Rolls as normal. A list of all Appeal Cases to be heard is available at Forthcoming Appeals

Remote Representation at Criminal Hearings

From Monday (except Edinburgh and Aberdeen Sheriff Courts where there is a local holiday) representatives will be able in most cases to take part in custody hearings remotely, reducing the requirement to travel and attend court.

Currently all custodies, confirmed or suspected of having Coronavirus, or those claiming to have Coronavirus, are dealt with via videolink from court to police custody and with the involvement of all parties it is intended that we continue to increase the numbers appearing via the link; to the point where all custodies are conducted by videolink. When we are at this point it is anticipated that all custody cases could be conducted with parties participating remotely.

Only those with a direct role in proceedings and journalists can currently attend court and social distancing must be personally observed.

Notes for Editors

Media Arrangements Inner House

Arrangements to join live Inner House hearings are available and being circulated separately today. Contact Judicial Communications

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