South Scotland

Jedburgh and Selkirk courts plan to share business

Courts Image copyright Kim Traynor/Google

Scottish court officials have denied claims that the two remaining courts in the Borders will operate on a part-time basis.

Local MSP John Lamont had raised fears that plans for Jedburgh and Selkirk sheriff court would lead to the equivalent of one full-time court.

The Scottish Court Service said the suggestion was "completely wrong".

From this week, each court will spend alternate weeks dealing with summary criminal courts, including custodies.

The other will deal with civil business and criminal jury trial business.

The move follows the closure of Duns and Peebles Sheriff Courts last week.

A spokeswoman for the courts service said: "The courts in Jedburgh and Selkirk are key to the delivery of local justice in the Borders and both will continue to operate each week on a full time basis.

"Court programming is the responsibility of the Sheriff Principal. This has followed consultation initiated in the autumn with local justice partners, including solicitors, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Police Scotland."

Mr Lamont, an MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, said the closure of the courts was a "massive blow" for the region.

The latest move means witnesses and victims may have to travel even further to access justice, depending on which week their case falls in, he claimed.

The MSP added: "Local justice in the Borders is being slowly destroyed and I hope the Scottish government agrees that this move was unacceptable without public consultation and should have been considered by parliament."

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