Jackson Boyd have undertaken extensive preparation to allow us to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak and continue to provide services to our Clients, however there is no avoiding the fact that coronavirus has had a big impact on how we conduct our business.
Whilst staff within the firm can continue to work remotely, the required social distancing measures have hugely impacted upon the court system with urgent and essential business being prioritised within the Government’s current lockdown arrangements. It is of course entirely proper that urgent and essential court business be prioritised; however this has meant that the vast majority of other business within the court system has ground to a halt.
As the pandemic progresses and we start to adapt to the new normal, things are also moving forward within the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS). The Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme civil court, were able to successfully introduce virtual courts within the Inner House at the end of April and this is set to expand to the Outer House shortly.
On Tuesday 12th May Inverness Sheriff Court will be the first Sheriff Court to conduct a virtual hearing. Whilst video links have been used in Sheriff Courts since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak to conduct custody proceedings in criminal cases, this commercial case being heard before Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle will be the first chance to test the courts’ new video platform and hear parties arguments remotely.
Here at Jackson Boyd we welcome these developments within the SCTS and we are glad to see technology being used to enable cases to proceed as safely and as quickly as possible. We are keen to see court services extend over the coming months and continue to monitor updates from the SCTS.
Rest assured that in the meantime, we shall continue to use all means available to us to assist our Clients and drive cases forwards as efficiently as possible.