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Court / Jury trials return to island courts

Lerwick Sheriff Court. Photo: Shetland News

AN ORDER prohibiting new jury trials in Scottish island courts has now been lifted.

An order imposed in July prohibited new jury trial business in the Scottish islands, including at Lerwick Sheriff Court, due to staffing challenges experienced by prisoner escort agency GEOAmey.

It meant that new jury trials had to be assigned to courts on the Scottish mainland.

The effects of the order on local justice caused concern across the political spectrum, and in November Lerwick’s Sheriff Ian Cruickshank expressed frustration in the courtroom about the situation.

One particular area of concern was islanders having to travel to the mainland for jury trial matters, including witnesses.

However the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has announced that the order has been lifted as of today (13 February).

It said: “Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle, Sheriff Principal of Grampian, Highland and Islands, has published an Order of Court providing for the return of solemn proceedings to Kirkwall, Lerwick, Lochmaddy, Portree, Stornoway and Wick Sheriff Courts.”

The order confirms that jury trial business transferred from Lerwick to a mainland court, but which has not been heard yet, could return to Shetland.

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