It was revealed today (April 9th 2013) that the Scottish Court Service, following a period of public consultation, has proposed to close Dingwall Sheriff Court and move its business to Inverness.
Commenting John said:
“During the consultation period I responded the Scottish Court Service’s proposals arguing against the closure of Dingwall Sheriff Court. I was keen to see that the recent improvements would not have been for nothing. In responses to the SCS’ consultation I put forward recommendations that would have enhanced Dingwall Sheriff Court, namely that it should be the site of a Highland domestic abuse court.
“Whilst I accepted that the proposed reforms were due to the challenging financial settlement, I was resolute that the interests of victims and witnesses should be served first. During Justice Committee meeting on October 30th 2012 I raised the issue of the great distances that victims and witnesses may be forced to travel should such a closure go ahead. Obviously it is disappointing that this closure will be going ahead but I will be writing to the SCS to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to mitigate the inconvenience caused to victims and witnesses.”