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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-05919

  • Asked by: Miles Briggs, MSP for Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 27 January 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Keith Brown on 10 February 2022


To ask the Scottish Government how many domestic abuse court cases have been delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Both prior to and throughout the pandemic, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service have prioritised domestic abuse trials. During the pandemic this has included supporting the running of a Specialist virtual Domestic Abuse trial pilot Courts in Inverness and Aberdeen which allowed the re-commencement of trials taking advantage of technological advances. As part of the recovery programming generally to manage the backlog of cases created by the pandemic, 10 additional Summary trials courts have been running since 6 September 2021. Pre-covid the optimal waiting period for domestic abuse trials was eight to ten weeks, but due to the impact of the pandemic this has increased to around thirteen weeks nationally at this time.

The latest statistics published by the Sottish Courts and Tribunals Service on 2 December 2021 indicate that in Q2 (between July to September 2021), domestic abuse cases accounted for 34% of Sheriff Summary trials called and 43% of those Sheriff Summary trials in which evidence was led. Three in every ten, of the 14,286 complaints concluded in court were domestic abuse cases, an increase of 24% compared with Q1 2021-22.