South Scotland

Scottish Borders sheriff court provision talks postponed

Peebles Sheriff Court Image copyright Walter Baxter
Image caption Peebles Sheriff Court is to close next year, leaving two sites in the region

A meeting to discuss the future operation of courts in the Borders after planned closures has been postponed.

Sheriff courts in Duns and Peebles are due to shut in 2015.

However, how the service is provided after that is also under consideration with the possibility of a pilot "justice centre" being introduced.

Talks were scheduled to take place this week, but they have now been delayed until 21 March.

The Borders is one of a number of regions where courts will be shut as part of a nationwide overhaul of the justice system.

The closures in Peebles and Duns, scheduled for 2015, will leave two sheriff courts in the region.

However, the long-term future of those sites - in Jedburgh and Selkirk - remains uncertain.

The area is one of four being considered to pilot so-called "justice centres".

A working group is looking at three options for the Borders:

  • one central justice centre, possibly in Galashiels
  • a larger number of smaller justice centres
  • retaining the two existing sheriff courts.

The meeting was originally set to take place on Thursday, but has been delayed by a month.

It will seek the views of people including the police and local lawyers on how the operation could be improved.

A working group will report to the Scottish Court Service - with a decision on which option is preferred now expected in late spring or early summer.

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