Assurances sought on courts’ future

With the justice system in the Borders already suffering a blow with the move to close Duns and Peebles courts, a question mark now hangs over the future of Selkirk and Jedburgh.

Borders MP MIchael Moore and South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume are calling for answers on the future of the two courts following the recent news that Scottish Court Service officials visited the Borders to discuss a justice centre, and have called on Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to oppose further court closures.

Mr Moore commented: “I was deeply disappointed when the Justice Committee in the Scottish Parliament chose to ignore local concerns and vote in favour of closing the courts in Duns.

“To learn that the courts in Selkirk and Jedburgh might also be under threat is an extremely concerning development, and would do further damage to the delivery of local justice in the Borders. I am therefore urging the Scottish Government to listen to local people and oppose any additional closures.”

Sharing Michael Moore’s view that the retention of sheriff courts in Jedburgh and Selkirk was vital in protecting the Borders justice system, Jim Hume added: “The decision to close Duns and Peebles courts was a huge blow for the Borders, but to find out that there may now be uncertainty over the future of the remaining courts in Selkirk and Jedburgh is deeply worrying for local justice.

“The Justice Secretary needs to protect the delivery of local justice in our rural communities and must provide assurances at an early stage that he will oppose any future closure recommendations from the Scottish Court Service.”

Duns and Peebles are due to close in January 2015.