Covid-19: Custody courts and duty solicitors

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has announced that all Sheriff and JP court business (other than undertakings) is now being consolidated within Sheriffdoms into ten sheriff courts as shown below.

At present, custody cases will only be heard in these ten courts. Therefore, any custody cases which require a Duty Solicitor will be dealt with by the Duty Solicitors in these ten court areas.

We should all be following the public health guidelines to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus by limiting travel to work and social contacts. This is essential to protect the NHS and save lives.

Duty solicitors in other areas, will not be required to travel to these courts for any duty cases. Other solicitors should also consider if their attendance at custody cases is necessary.

Duty swaps continue

We would urge everyone to follow all public health advice. If you have to self-isolate and cannot fulfil a duty slot, we’ll continue to offer to arrange swaps for any solicitor or you can make your own arrangements for a colleague to cover for you.

There’s no change to that approach, just let us know when this happens – email.

Remember that you may not be aware of individuals’ underlying health conditions or those of their family members and reasons why someone cannot fulfil a duty slot; and we won’t be disclosing personal data about individuals.

Your assistance and co-operation with this is greatly appreciated.

Police station duty

Local Police Station Duty Solicitors will still be called on for any police station attendances in their local police stations.

Further updates

We will update you once it is clear how (and where) cases will be dealt with after the initial appearance. In addition, we are continuing to look at ways which the legal aid system can be adapted to suit the latest developments in the justice system at present.  We will keep you updated on matters as they are finalised.

Please contact Kingsley Thomas, Head of Criminal Legal Assistance, by email if you have any questions.

Covid-19 Sheriff Courts

Glasgow & Strathkelvin

Glasgow Sheriff and JP Court

Lothian & Borders

Edinburgh Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Livingston, Selkirk & Jedburgh)

Tayside, Central & Fife

Dundee Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Forfar and Perth)

Falkirk Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Stirling, Alloa, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy)

Grampian, Highland & Islands

Inverness Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Elgin, Tain, Wick and the Island Courts).  Island custody courts will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Aberdeen Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Peterhead and Banff)

North Strathclyde

Paisley Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Greenock and Dumbarton)

Kilmarnock Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Dunoon, Oban and Campbeltown)

South Strathclyde, Dumfries & Galloway

Hamilton Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring Airdrie, Lanark and Ayr)

Dumfries Sheriff and JP Court (business transferring from Stranraer)

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