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Holyrood protest planned against court closures

31 May 2013

Solicitors are organising a demonstration at the Scottish Parliament to protest at the planned closure of 10 local sheriff courts.

East Lothian solicitors Angela Craig and Louise Reynolds are objecting in particular to the closure of Haddington Sheriff Court, but are calling on solicitors across Scotland to join them on Tuesday 4 June at 11am, when Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is due to be quizzed by MSPs on the Justice Committee over the proposals.

As well as Haddington, the courts at Selkirk, Duns, Cupar, Arbroath, Stonehaven, Dingwall, Dornoch, Rothesay and Kirkcudbright are due to close, as are seven other justice of the peace courts.

Solicitors fear the closures, along with a planned transfer of the majority of cases currently heard in the Court of Session to the sheriff court, will result in an overload of work in the sheriff courts and long delays in cases, but the Scottish Court Service insist the system can cope with the changes.

There are also objections to the loss of local justice and the effect on parties and witnesses who have to travel longer distances.

A Facebook page "Save Haddington Sheriff Court" has been set up.

The protest organisers can be contacted at lreynolds@gsbsolicitors.co.uk or acraig@gsbsolicitors.co.uk

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