Appeals data added to new criminal courts statistics report

Sep 05, 2019

Appeal cases data has been added to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service quarterly statistical bulletin which is published today providing enhanced quarterly Official Statistics on criminal case activity in Scotland.

The fifth statistical bulletin contains quarterly figures on activity in all High, Sheriff and Justice of the Peace courts giving national trends as well as detailed figures for local courts in solemn and summary criminal business.

The continuing trend of increasing levels of serious criminal cases being dealt with by our courts is reflected in the first quarter figures of 2019-20. This shows further increases over the previous quarter of 6% in the High Court, 4% in Sheriff Court Solemn and 5% in Sheriff Court Summary business. The downward trend in the Justice of the Peace courts, also continues with a 16% reduction since the last quarter.

 The figures also reveal: 

  • The percentage of trials adjourned due to lack of court time fell from 5.6% in 2014/15 to 3.1% in the first quarter of 2019/20 – a drop of 2.5 percentage points;
  • Of appeals registered in 2018/19, 16% relate to an appeal solely against conviction, 67% to appeal solely against sentence and 17% to a joint appeal against conviction and sentence showing that appeals solely against sentence are the most common type;
  • Overall the volume of criminal cases being appealed has reduced between 2014/15 and 2018/19 by 18%.

Commenting on the new report David Fraser, Chief Operations Officer, said: “I am delighted that we are now able to add appeals data to the QCC report which provides the key statistics for anyone interested in seeing a detailed picture of trends and performance in Scotland’s criminal courts. The addition of information on appeals represents another advance in the drive for openness and transparency on court activity.”

The QCC bulletin gives a comprehensive picture of activity in the criminal courts and includes such figures as the national total of trials called; the total of trials where evidence was led; and the total of trials concluded. Information on summary and solemn business is available for each court individually with access to useful graphs and tables in addition to the figures themselves.

This publication is intended to be of use to anyone with an interest in the flow of activity through Scotland’s courts and is expected to be of particular interest to legal practitioners and researchers.  It marks a further move in promoting availability of court statistics following the introduction of the Quarterly Fines Report.



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