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Coronavirus (COVID-19)  

Coronavirus library

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Keeping our Courts and Tribunal Buildings Safe

In normal times we welcome members of the public visiting our courts and tribunals on a daily basis; to support friends and family and to uphold the principle that justice can be seen to be done.

These are not normal times and we need to minimise the number of public visitors in our buildings.

Therefore In order to play our part in responding to the coronavirus and reduce the risk of infection spread we ask every member of the public, who is not directly involved in proceedings, not to enter our buildings. 

This will help us protect our environment and minimise the risk for those who are required to attend court or tribunal hearings. 

You don’t need to come to a court building to pay a fine. You can pay online at www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/pay-a-fine with phone and postal options also available. 

You can manage a simple procedure claim or response entirely online. Details at www.scotcourts.gov.uk/civilonline

18.03.20

With strong Government advice on social distancing and avoiding gatherings, we ask that you stay away and reduce the risk of Coronavirus spread.

Thanks for your support in minimising the risks for everyone.

 







Jury trials

Based on the Government’s response to coronavirus we are continually reviewing the operation of the courts and tribunals, to ensure that essential services are maintained as far as possible and that we take appropriate measures to protect the health of all court users.

As a result from today, 17th March, no new criminal jury trials will be commenced or new juries empanelled until further notice. This will be kept under review.

Where jury trials have already commenced these will run to conclusion of the trial, if practical to do so.

For jurors cited for trials after today information will be available on jury telephone lines advising them not to attend.

It is likely that further measures will be announced in the coming days.

Please continue to regularly check the SCTS website for updates.
17.03.20

 

Planning our response to Coronavirus


“Unprecedented times” is a phrase that has probably been overused in the last year, but best describes where we find ourselves today; not just as an organisation, or a country but as a global society.

The justice system lies at the heart of any democratic society and that’s even more important during this period. 

Last week the SCTS hosted a Criminal Justice Multi-Agency Workshop to work through the challenges of how we prioritise action across the justice system to focus on safety and public order. This covered a wide range of issues including custody management, administrative hearings, extended use of video links, jury practicalities and reducing physical attendance at court. Similar assessments are being made across civil, tribunals, OPG and our corporate services. At the same time we are examining longer term plans to strengthen our resilience.

SCTS Chief Executive, Eric McQueen said: “For those regular users of courts and tribunals, you will know how complex these issues are. As we plan to introduce measures for the High Court, Sheriff and JP Courts and Tribunals that will help us maintain the critical elements of   business and support an effective recovery after the outbreak., we will use this website to communicate widely”  
“Meantime, the most important action for all of us attending a court or a tribunal at this time; be they staff, judiciary, court or tribunal users,  is to follow stringently the current medical advice. Stay home if you have developed a continuous cough or fever/ high temperature in the last 7 days and if you are well and attending court follow our guidance and rigorously undertake a hand washing and hygiene regime.

Please check regularly for updates on this website.

16.03.20
 

Guidance on Coming to a Court or Tribunal During Coronavirus

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) conducts business daily from over 40 locations across the country bringing together a wide range of people.

We recognise that the outbreak of COVID-19 will be raising concerns for individuals who are attending our courts, tribunals or Office of the Public Guardian buildings.

 In line with current Coronavirus medical advice if you are healthy and not displaying coronavirus symptoms we expect jurors and other service users to continue attending for business as usual.

However, do not attend a court or tribunal if: You have received medical advice to self-isolate or if you have developed a cough or fever in the last 7 days and are required to self-isolate. See NHS Inform Advice

In these circumstances you should contact the relevant court, tribunal or OPG office to notify them as soon as reasonably practicable.

Contact details for our offices / buildings can be found on the right hand side of this page.

Our priority for the duration of the outbreak is supporting the public health response – protecting staff, courts and tribunals users. Our response to the outbreak reflects current Government and NHS guidance on what we, as an organisation, and you, the public and other court users, should be doing to minimise and contain the virus’ spread.

Anyone coming to court should observe the stringent guidance on regular hand washing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds.

On the right hand side of this page are links to health and advice resources.
As the situation develops our approach will respond to Government and the NHS guidance – as directed by the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, and updates will be provided on this webpage.

The courts, tribunals and administrative offices of the SCTS remain open for business including:

attending for jury service;
attending as a witness or accused;
attending as a party to a case at which you are ordained to appear;
attending in a professional capacity for a hearing or related function; payment of fees, fines, lodging of documents and general enquiries;
and attending to support friends, family members or out of public interest.

13.03.20

 

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