Court closures "clear breach" of judicial principles

The Scottish Borders Council has voiced its concerns over plans to close two local courts and restructure the Scottish Courts Service.

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Council voices concern over new court proposals

The Scottish Borders Council has called proposals to close the Sheriff and Justice of Peace courts at Duns and Peebles "a clear breach of principles".

The proposals would mean that for some people it would not be possible for them to travel to court and home on the same day.

The closures would also mean that the existing courts in the Borders would only deal with trials before a Sheriff where there is no jury, and that jury trials would take place at other courts - all outside of the Borders.

The Scottish Borders Council is concerned that under new proposals the accused person in a trial would lose the historic privilege of being tried by his or her peers from the community where the alleged offence took place.

We have huge concerns about the potential impact of these proposals on the people of the Borders.

In particular, we question how these proposals will continue to meet the reasonable needs of the people of the Scottish Borders to continue to be able to enjoy fair access to local justice.

For the people living in the Eyemouth area for example, it would not be possible for them to travel to court and home on the same day.

That's a clear breach of principles laid down by the Judicial Office for Scotland."

– Councillor Michael Cook
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