Dean’s backing for plan to keep length of complex trials in check

10 May


THE Dean of Faculty, Gordon Jackson, QC, has given support to a new initiative aimed at keeping complex High Court cases within reasonable time limits.

A practice note, The Management of Lengthy or Complex Criminal Cases, was introduced by Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk, at an event in the High Court in Glasgow.

The note includes a protocol which suggests that cases should be completed within three months, other than in exceptional circumstances. It also calls for judges to manage cases “from cradle to grave”.

Lady Dorrian said: “Ultimately, as the text of the protocol explains, ‘the judge will try to generate a spirit of co-operation between the court and advocates on all sides. The expeditious conduct of the trial and a focussing on the real issues must be in the interests of all parties.’ I sincerely hope that these new measures will be received in a similar spirit…”

Mr Jackson told the audience that he supported the initiative, and said that the aims of the practice note could be achieved in the spirit of co-operation where respect was given to both the defence and the prosecution.

 See the practice note and protocol at