John is delighted by the announcement from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service that the High Court will return to Inverness once the proposed new justice Centre is completed replacing the current court facilities at Inverness Castle.
This followed John writing to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service in December highlighting some of the difficulties faced with Highlands and Islands cases being heard in Glasgow and Edinburgh, including the inconvenience it can cause for victims and witnesses and highlighting the excellent opportunity the new facility would provide for the return of the High Court to Inverness.
In response a spokesman for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service said:
“The high court will sit in the new justice centre. It will deliver a wide range of services and problem-solving approaches to help reduce reoffending and offer specialist facilities, support and advice for victims and witnesses of domestic abuse, sexual violence and child abuse. “
Commenting on the confirmation that the High Court would return to Inverness John said:
“The administration of justice, and the roll our courts play in that, is a foundation stone of our communities.
“Whilst I am entirely supportive of schemes to divert people from prosecution, and therefore the need to appear in court, our courts still play an important part in our communities. Justice must be seen to be done.
“When Inverness was removed from the High Court circuit I raised concerns that a judge and a few advocates heading north could be replaced by bus loads of witnesses heading south for Highlands and Islands cases. That turned out to be the case with Highlands and Islands cases being heard in Glasgow or Edinburgh.
“Now, with this wonderful new court development this is an ideal opportunity to bring the High Court back to Inverness, to allow people to have justice in respect of the most serious cases, once again, dispensed in Inverness.
“It is therefore welcome news that the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service confirmed earlier this week that the high court will return to Inverness.