Consulting with the legal profession is key to delivering post-pandemic courts which are effective and fair for all, says the Law Society of Scotland.

Following recent concerns raised by the Law Society about virtual custody courts, representatives this week met with the Lord President, Lord Justice Clerk and the Chief Executive of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to emphasise the need for consistent consultation.

Law Society President Amanda Millar said: “I appreciate the Lord President and his colleagues giving the time to meet with us to discuss the concerns of our members. We are all aware of the significant challenges facing the court service. We are committed to continuing to engage positively in creating innovative solutions which support an effective and fair court system for all.

“It is important to recognise that it is through the good will and professional commitment of our members that the courts have been able to operate as they have in recent months. It is reasonable to ask that stakeholders repay that support by ensuring that the needs and views of Scottish solicitors are taken into account in planning for the future.

“I welcome the commitment given to us by the Chief Executive of SCTS to engaging in further discussions on the proposals in the plan published at the weekend. The suggestion of introducing weekend courts is a particularly significant one, which would have a negative impact on an already under pressure group of professionals. Our Criminal Law Committee believe that no case has been made to justify this proposal, but we look forward to engaging in discussions about alternative ideas to address the court backlog.”

Response to courts COVID-19 recovery plan

President of the Law Society, Amanda Millar, says it's vital that an open dialogue with the legal profession is part of the court service recovery plan.