Victims’ Mental Health (Effect of Trial Delays)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 17th June 2021.

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Photo of Pauline McNeill Pauline McNeill Labour

An accused person may not be held in custody for trial for more than 140 days unless the trial has commenced, but that period may be extended by a judge on cause shown. Prior to the pandemic, there were significant delays to High Court trials. Is the cabinet secretary satisfied that the use of cause shown is a high enough test to prevent court delays, or will that become meaningless if it is going to take such a length of time to get back on track? Will the cabinet secretary make a full assessment of the impact of delays on victims—especially victims of rape and serious sexual assaults?