Scottish Government
Printable version

Journey times in the Scottish Criminal Justice System, 2023-24

An official statistics in development publication for Scotland

Overall, accused persons’ journey times in Scotland’s criminal justice system have decreased over the last year, according to new official statistics in development published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

Median journey times (date of offence to date of verdict) in 2023-24 were around 2 years 10 months in High court and 1 year 7 months in Sheriff solemn courts.  This compares to around 8 months in Sheriff summary and 9 months in JP courts.

Compared to 2022-23, overall, median journey times decreased by 1 month in High Court and JP Court and 2 months in Sheriff summary court. However, median journey times in Sheriff solemn court increased by 2 months in 2023-24 compared to 2022-23.

The types of charges faced by an accused affects their journey time, with the longest times occurring for accused persons charged with sexual crimes in the High court.

New data presented in this bulletin allow for the identification of historic and non-historic offences. For non-historic sexual offences, the median offence to verdict time for an accused in High court has remained similar to 2022-23 at around 3 years.

For historic sexual offences, the median offence to verdict time for an accused in High court in 2023-24 was just over 11 years. This is a reduction of over 2 years from 2022-23. Additionally, for historic offences, the time taken for offences to be reported to the police can be lengthy and in many cases is the driver of long journey times.


These new official statistics in development have been published in response to requests by Justice organisations for information about the length of different types of criminal justice system journey times. Further detail on data sources and the methodology used can be found here

These Official statistics in development are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland is available.

Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Scottish Government