THE Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has announced that new measures have been brought in today to maintain public safety at Scottish courts.

The service has advised that unless individuals are required for proceedings, they should not attend courts or tribunal premises.

In relation to criminal business, there will be a significant reduction in summary criminal trials, with a focus on custody trials and a small number of non-custody trials where witnesses are available.

Since Monday, no new criminal jury trials have been commenced or new juries empanelled until further notice.

Civil business without witnesses will continue where possible and all hearings where witnesses are required will be adjourned. Some hearings may proceed on written submissions or via telephone or video conferencing.

All non-critical work across Scottish court tribunals will now be stopped and tribunals are already moving to postpone those hearings which have been scheduled.

A statement from the service said: “Coronavirus is now having a significant impact on the Scottish Justice system and this impact will accelerate in the coming weeks and months.

“The measures announced today aim to ensure that the public can maintain the trust and confidence that justice continues, that we protect the health of those using our courts and tribunals and that essential cases are dealt with to maintain public safety.

“The Lord President and Lord Advocate have agreed to a programme of changes to criminal court business, which together with changes to civil court business, tribunal hearings and the work of the Office of the Public Guardian will provide a sustainable response during this outbreak.”

For more information, visit