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More than 600 court trials waiting to be heard in Inverness


By Gregor White

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Inverness Justice Centre.
Inverness Justice Centre.

Highlands and Islands MSP Edward Mountain is calling on the Scottish Government to reduce lengthy delays in the courts system which have hit 633 trials in Inverness.

The latest figures from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service show that nationally 22,437 trials are still waiting to be called in court, up from 18,355 in 2019/20.

The Scottish Government has put much of the delay down to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

Conservative MSP Edward Mountain has now called on Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf to urgently deal with the backlog, saying that far too many victims are facing an unacceptably long wait to have their day in court.

Last month Eric McQueen, chief executive of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service warned that the backlog in courts could take a decade to clear.

Mr Mountain said: "The enforced shut down of our courts as a result of the pandemic has significantly reduced the number of trials that can be seen.

"This has added to an already unacceptable situation that the SNP government must now address – over 600 trials are still waiting to be heard in Inverness.

"Clearly this is a long term issue too, and cannot be blamed only on the pandemic.

"Over 600 victims are having to wait far too long to have their day in court, causing many of them additional pain and trauma.

"I urge the SNP government to act urgently and speed up this process for victims and their families."

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