Latest quarterly criminal court figures show progress in Sheriff solemn backlogs

Mar 07, 2024

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service statistical bulletin is published today providing quarterly Official Statistics on criminal case activity in Scotland. This bulletin covers the period Quarter 3 2023/24 (October - December).

The 23rd QCC bulletin shows the continued impact of the recovery resources switch from summary to solemn that occurred on 1st April 2023 to provide 2 additional High Court and 6 additional Sheriff Solemn trial courts. The number of Sheriff Solemn trials scheduled fell by 5% to 1,945 as at the end of December 2023 when compared to the previous quarter end.

Other highlights include:

  • There were 23,040 first instance criminal cases registered in Scottish courts in Q3 2023/24, which is 1% lower than in Q2 2023/24. 
  • The overall number of scheduled trials has fallen by 1% to 27,565 as at the end of December 2023 when compared to the previous quarter end (27,911).
  • The number of Evidence led trials that called in Q3 2023/24 fell by 1% to 2,089 when compared to Q2 2023/24.
  • The total number of cases concluded is 1% higher than in Q2 2023/24, with 22,812 cases concluded in Q3 2023/24.
  • In Q3 2023/24 domestic abuse cases accounted for 29% of Sheriff Summary trials called and 32% of Sheriff Summary trials in which evidence was led.


  • The Quarterly Criminal Court Statistics report is available at:
  • The QCC bulletin does not cover court cases relating to civil business.
  • Trials scheduled is the count of complaints or indictments that have a trial diet assigned but are yet to call in court.
  • See the Scottish Government’s website for criminal statistics relating to people, offence types and sentencing as well as civil justice: 

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