Wednesday, July 15, 2009

One Third of Scottish Courts Could Close

As if it doesn't take long enough to divorce a report prepared for the Scottish Court Service Strategic Board and leaked to The Herald contains radical proposals to close 19 of Scotland's 53 court buildings requiring 3400 sitting days to be accommodated in the remaining courts. This would be achieved partly through increasing the use of larger courts and partly through the introduction of "mobile facilities" covering the southwest and northeast of Scotland. The proposals would mean that waiting times between first calling and trial would increase in the range of 13 to 31 weeks and the non-replacement of some judges and sheriffs when they reach the mandatory retiring age. The measures are being considered following the Government's instruction to all its departments to illustrate a 5% reduction in their budgets.

A Scottish Government spokesman said he would not comment on the specifics of a leaded document. However, as a result of the £500 million cuts to Scotland's budget announced by the Chancellor as part of the UK Government's Budget, all public sector agencies were looking at what savings can be made and examining possible options, he said.

Article Source The Herald 15 July 2009


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