Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Scotland's first cinema remote jury trial taking place

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Scotland's first cinema remote jury trial taking place

The Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service (SCTS) has announced that on 29 September 2020, the first cinema remote jury trial will take place amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The remote jury trial will take place at the Odeon cinema at Fort Kinnaird retail park in Edinburgh. The announcement follows the recommendation of the Restarting Solemn Trials Working Group that 'remote jury centres outwith court buildings would allow High Court trials to operate at pre-COVID-19 business levels.' Cinema remote jury trials are the first stage of what is expected to be a further roll-out of remote jury centres. The remote jury centres are being funded by the Scottish Government for six months, with the option to extend for a longer period. The next step for the Scottish Government will be to consider how the remote jury centre model can be extended to include sheriff court jury trials across Scotland.

Cinemas were chosen for jury centres after an 'extensive search for suitable venues' as they can comfortably allow 15 jurors to adhere to social distancing rules, are soundproofed and spacious. Cinemas will provide accommodation for jurors as part of a six-month contract which gives the courts exclusive access to the jury centre Monday to Friday. Courtrooms have been 'fitted out with the cameras and technology necessary to broadcast the trials to the screens and to receive the video wall of jurors into the courtrooms.'

Source: First cinema remote jury centre trial set to start

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