Latest criminal court figures show strong progress

Dec 02, 2021

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service quarterly statistical bulletin is published today providing quarterly Official Statistics on criminal case activity in Scotland. This bulletin covers the period of Quarter 2 2021/22 (July-September).

The bulletin contains figures on activity in all High, Sheriff, Justice of the Peace and criminal appeal courts with national trends as well as detailed figures for local courts in solemn and summary criminal business.

The 14th QCC Bulletin shows that the remote jury centres established across Scotland enabled jury trials to operate at pre-pandemic levels. The introduction of an additional 16 trial courts from 6 September has seen a marked improvement in criminal throughput with a total of 24,152 cases concluded in all criminal courts in Q2 2021/22 – an increase of 48% from the previous quarter.

Other highlights include:

  • There were 21,081 first instance criminal cases registered in Scottish courts in Q2 2021/22 which is on a par with Q1 2021/22.  
  • The number of trials scheduled has stabilised at 42,554, when scheduled trials at the end of June 2021 are compared with those still to call as at the end of September 2021. This is clear evidence of the recovery programme halting the previous increase in outstanding trials.
  • Evidence led trials rose by 22% to 2,022 in Q2 2021/22 compared with Q1.
  • In Q2 2021/22, domestic abuse cases accounted for 26% of Sheriff Summary registrations; 34% of Sheriff Summary trials called and 43% of Sheriff Summary trials in which evidence was led.
  • Domestic abuse scheduled trials decreased by 10% to 6,889 between Q1 and Q2.

Commenting on the bulletin SCTS Executive Director Court Operations, David Fraser, said: “Our court buildings continue to operate in accordance with guidance from Public Health Scotland to safeguard our staff, judiciary and court users.

“Criminal first instance business is making strong progress due to the excellent collaboration across the judiciary, justice organisations, the legal profession and the third sector which has helped get court business back on track. This collaboration remains crucial during the recovery programme and the anticipated increase in case registrations.  

“Early indications are that the additional 16 trial courts introduced on 6 September have stabilised the backlogs and further progress is anticipated in future quarters.”



  • The Quarterly Criminal Court Statistics report is available at:
  • The QCC bulletin does not cover court cases relating to civil business.
  • Trials scheduled is the count of complaints or indictments that have a trial diet assigned but are yet to call in court.
  • See the Scottish Government’s website for criminal statistics relating to people, offence types and sentencing as well as civil justice:

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