New jury trials to be halted ‘until further notice’

Ongoing trials will run until their conclusion 'if practical', the Scottish Courts service said.

No new court trials which involve juries will start “until further notice” due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals service said jury trials already under way would run until their conclusion “if practical to do so”.

Potential jurors cited for trials due to begin in the coming days will be contacted.

It took the decision “to protect the health of all court users” and comes as Scotland effectively goes into ‘lockdown’ to prevent the spread of the virus.

People have been advised to avoid “non-essential contact and travel” and work from home if they can.

The SCTS said: “Based on the government’s response to coronavirus we are continually reviewing the operation of the courts and tribunals, to ensure that essential services are maintained as far as possible and that we take appropriate measures to protect the health of all court users.

“As a result, no new criminal jury trials will be commenced or new juries empanelled until further notice. This will be kept under review.

“Where jury trials have already commenced these will run to conclusion of the trial, if practical to do so.

“For jurors cited for trials after today information will be available on jury telephone lines advising them not to attend.”

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