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Big screen justice: Cinemas to host Scottish jury trials

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Selected for their good digital connectivity and secure IT infrastructure

The Scottish government has announced plans to host jury trials in cinemas in a bid to tackle the huge backlog of cases created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) yesterday confirmed that the Odeon cinema at Ford Kinnaird in Edinburgh will host the first socially-distanced remote jury trial on 28 September.

Meanwhile, the Odeon’s Glasgow branch — which is currently showing films including Trolls World Tour and 100% Wolf — will host trials from 12 October.

Cinemas were chosen due to their pre-existing, high levels of digital connectivity and extremely secure IT infrastructure, according to SCTS, as well as their “sound-proofed accommodation which is important for jury deliberations”.

Secure your place: The Scottish Virtual Law Fair 2020

Jurors will be socially distanced from each other and have a four-way view of proceedings on the cinema screen. At all times the screen will show the judge and the accused, with the other screens showing witnesses, prosecutor/defence or evidence.

Masks will be available to jurors on arrival but will not be required to be worn in the jury room.

Eric McQueen, chief executive, SCTS, said:

“We are grateful to ODEON Cinemas for working alongside us to make the concept of remote jury centres a reality. We need to move swiftly to increase the number of High Court trials taking place and we will do this incrementally as soon as we can.”

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5 Comments

Anonymous

Might be a time to rethink the indulgence of having 15 people in a jury? Waste of money, but they are so precious about their odd legal kinks up there.

(8)(4)

William “the coin” Wallace

The frothing Nats seize on anything they can to highlight “differences” from the English. Happy to take the English coin though.

(4)(3)

Won't look at an Odeon the same way again

Bit Black Mirror’y…

(1)(0)

Bazta

We need to do this in the UK immediately

(0)(0)

Bravo Suellaman.

No we don’t. We can sort the backlog by restoring trial by combat and trial by ordeal. If the BBC get the TV rights to these we can sort out the licence fee problem too.

(6)(0)

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