HC Deb 14 April 1976 vol 909 c1373
36. Mr. Fairbairn

asked the Lord Advocate how long it takes on average for a prosecution under the Road Traffic Acts to come to court in Perth, Lerwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Jedburgh.

The Lord Advocate

The average time from the occurrence of the offence until the first calling of the case in court is: Perth, six weeks; Lerwick, four weeks; Edinburgh, 20 weeks; Glasgow, 21 weeks; Jedburgh, six weeks.

Mr. Fairbairn

Does not that answer indicate the very patchy form that justice takes in Scotland under the Road Traffic Acts? Will the Lord Advocate, with all the new commissions and bureaucratic bodies that we have looking after the sheriff courts in Scotland, ensure that the shortest time for trial is the general time in all?

The Lord Advocate

I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman that we want to cut down the delay in this and other parts of the summary procedure to the maximum possible extent. However, summary justice must be not only summary but justice. We have to balance the two requirements. As the hon. and learned Member will be aware, Edinburgh and Glasgow, where the delays are longest, are the busiest courts.