Criminal cases dealt with by the Scottish courts during August were running at or above pre-COVID levels in most categories, according to the latest monthly figures published by Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service.

SCTS's 12th monthly workbook shows that during August 2021:

  • 55 High Court evidence led trials commenced (compared with 48 in July and 47 in June), 31% higher than the average pre-COVID level;
  • 76 High Court cases were concluded, 13% higher than the average pre-COVID level (July saw 68 and June 62);
  • 83 sheriff solemn evidence led trials commenced, 88% of the average pre-COVID level (July saw 76 and June 88);
  • 451 sheriff solemn cases were concluded, 105% of the average pre-COVID level (July saw 453 and June 459);
  • 459 sheriff summary evidence led trials commenced, 79% of the average pre-COVID level (July saw 408 and June 471);
  • 4,654 sheriff summary cases were concluded, 98% of the average pre-COVID level (July saw 4,446 and June 4,547);
  • 2,797 justice of the peace cases were concluded, 9% higher than the average pre-COVID level (July saw 3,032; this court only restarted during June). 

The overall level of new cases registered was 82% of the average monthly pre-COVID level (77% in July; 81% in June). However, petitions, which provide a useful indicator of future solemn business, were 30% higher than the average monthly pre-COVID level. (21% in July; 17% in June).

David Fraser, SCTS executive director, Court Operations, commented: "Jury trials in the High Court and sheriff courts continue to operate at pre-COVID capacity following the successful introduction of remote jury centres.

"Summary throughput at the sheriff and justice of the peace courts shows a return to pre-COVID levels with 98% and 109% respectively.

"The excellent collaboration across the judiciary, justice organisations, the legal profession and the third sector has helped get court business back on track and this remains crucial in delivering the recovery programme that commenced this month. We will continue to publish these figures on a monthly basis to illustrate the progress we are making and the challenges still being faced."

The workbook is available at: www.scotcourts.gov.uk/official-statistics