Jury citations issued ahead of return of high court trials

Potential jurors will begin receiving notices from Monday in preparation of cases being heard in July.

The first jury citations have been issued since the start of lockdown ahead of the return of high court trials next month.

Potential jurors will begin receiving notices from Monday in preparation of cases being heard in Edinburgh and Glasgow in July.

The citations will also include an information pamphlet about the measures put in place by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) to ensure the safety of all parties.

It will detail information on how new measures will affect an accused, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, staff and judiciary.

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Lord justice clerk Lady Dorrian said: “The courts have been working extremely hard to deliver justice in the current coronavirus circumstances.

“I am satisfied that this work, along with the work undertaken by the re-starting jury trials working group in collaboration with the SCTS and our justice partners, will enable jury trials to take place in a way that ensures the safety and confidence of jurors and all parties, and builds trust in our ability to operate within the strict guidelines set out by Public Health Scotland.”

Trials will continue to be conducted with 15 jurors under the same legal standards and procedures as before Covid-19 measures were introduced.

On March 17, SCTS lord president Lord Carloway announced no new criminal jury trials would commence or juries would be empanelled until further notice.

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Last month, SCTS chief executive Eric McQueen told Holyrood’s justice committee that social distancing measures could cause a backlog of 2000 high court cases in Scotland over the next two years.