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Report on summary justice reform 08/03/2012 A report has been published by the Scottish Government, which aims to evaluate how far reforms to undertakings have succeeded in meeting their objectives under the ongoing process of Summary Justice reform.

Report on summary justice reform

A report has been published by the Scottish Government, which aims to evaluate how far reforms to undertakings have succeeded in meeting their objectives under the ongoing process of Summary Justice reform.

The evaluation found that:

  • Following the reforms, undertakings are being used for a wider range of charge types; and
  • Undertakings cases are generally reaching court within the target 28 days.
However, when undertakings cases reach court it was found that they now have a higher average number of diets per case than cited or remand cases. In addition there has been a reduction in the proportion of undertakings cases concluding at first diet, and while average completion times for undertakings cases is still less than for cited cases, it has been increasing steadily since 2009.

According to the report there are two factors that may be negatively impacting on how quickly some cases progress through court:
  • police, Procurators Fiscal, and defence agents reported difficulties in completing their preparations for the pleading diet in the target 28 days, resulting in a need for further hearings; and
  • undertakings are now being used in more complex kinds of cases, which may require more court time and more diets to resolve

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