Scotland's Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill claims that 'quicker' justice will be provided by the latest court reforms to the summary justice where less serious cases are heard without a jury.
Speed in the Scottish Courts Service is not something anyone really expects ...
The Scotsman reports :
QUICKER justice should be provided by court reforms now coming into effect, a minister claimed today.
The reforms to Scotland's system of summary justice – less serious cases heard without a jury – stem from legislation passed last January.
Since December ten sheriffs have been able to hear some serious cases – those carrying a penalty of up to a year in prison – under summary procedure, easing the demand for jurors.
JPs have also been given extra training to deal with some cases.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said 90 per cent of all criminal court cases were summary and the reforms would help lay the ground for faster and more efficient justice.
But the Law Society of Scotland gave a cautious response, particularly to the non-court alternatives. Bill McVicar, convener of the society's criminal law committee, said: "There is a balance to be struck between the need for efficiencies in the justice system and the rights of the accused."