Full financial year criminal court figures show strong progress

Jun 01, 2022

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 2021/22.

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 16th QCC Bulletin shows the impact of the 16 additional trial courts introduced in September 2021with 82,147 cases concluded in 2021/22 – an increase of 78% from 2020/21.


Other highlights include:

  • There were 85,567 first instance criminal cases registered in Scottish courts in 2021/22 which is 81% of the pre-covid volume in 2019/20.  
  • The number of trials scheduled has risen by 8% to 40,923 when scheduled trials at the end of March 2022 are compared to those still to call as at the end of March 2021.
  • Evidence led trials more than doubled to 7,505 in 2021/22 compared to 3,545 in 2020/21.
  • In 2021/22, domestic abuse cases accounted for 25% of Sheriff Summary registrations; 33% of Sheriff Summary trials called and 42% of Sheriff Summary trials in which evidence was led.


Commenting on the bulletin SCTS Executive Director Court Operations, David Fraser, said: “While 2021/22 was a challenging year for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the latest figures show the recovery programme, which introduced the additional 16 trial courts in September 2021, continues to make inroads to the backlog created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of evidence led trials  was more than double that of the previous year. Due to prioritising cases, domestic abuse now accounts for two in every five evidence led trials at Summary level.

“We continue to make 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.”

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