News In Focus
Plans for new justice of the peace courts
The Scottish Court Service has announced its plans for new Justice of the Peace Courts across the Tayside, Central and Fife sheriffdom.
Under reforms to the summary justice system, district courts currently operated by local authorities will become Justice of the Peace courts operated by the SCS. The aim is to unify the courts administration to hlep ensure consistent service for court users and introduce integrated technology to the new courts.
The arrangements, which will come into place in February 2009, are that:
- Arbroath, Forfar and Cupar Justice of the Peace courts will sit in the sheriff court buildings in these towns
- Alloa Justice of the Peace court will relocate to the newly extended Alloa Sheriff Court
- Dundee and Kirkcaldy Justice of the Peace courts will sit in the former district court buildings in these towns
- Perth, Dunfermline, Falkirk and Stirling Justice of the Peace Courts will relocate to the sheriff court buildings in these towns as soon as this can be arranged.
The current plan would see the move in Falkirk take place by March 2009 and those in Stirling and Dunfermline by February 2010. Plans for the move in Perth are still being developed. In the meantime, Perth, Dunfermline, Stirling and Falkirk Justice of the Peace Courts will sit in the former district court until they can be accommodated in the sheriff court.
Chief executive of the Scottish Court Service, Eleanor Emberson, said: "The real benefits of co-locating Justice of the Peace courts with Sheriff Courts, when possible, include providing a single point of contact and in many cases improved facilities for all court users."