Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis

May 21, 2020

The First Minister announced today the route map to easing the current Covid-19 lockdown arrangements. Arrangements for reopening courts and tribunals buildings are included in Phase 1. No dates or timescales have been set and the First Minister has made it clear that the basis on which a move to each phase is dependent on meeting stringent criteria. The next review of lockdown by the Government is Thursday 28 May and we will know then whether the intention is to move to Phase 1.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has already started work to be ready to reopen courts and buildings and bring back some staff and judiciary on a programmed basis. Social distancing and public health requirements mean that not all staff or judiciary can return to premises and there will be a safe, pragmatic and incremental approach to the resumption of business. In the meantime, the 10 hub courts and the Supreme Courts will continue to operate. 

On planning for this, we will continue the collaborative work with the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service, Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society for Scotland on business issues and social distancing requirements as we develop our phases for an incremental increase in the programme of business.

We cannot return to business as usual. It will take everyone’s support to respond to the post-Covid-19 lockdown easing. We will continue with the development of virtual hearings and digital solutions where these are effective and sensible. Our priority for reopening buildings will be to ensure the safety of court users and that we can offer appropriate social distancing. Each building is unique and requires specific design planning to help us ensure that is achieved for everyone’s safety.

As the timing of a move to Phase 1 is confirmed we will update you on progress. You can read the latest SCTS updates here.

Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis





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