Responding to new figures on Criminal Proceedings in Scotland 2020/21 which show that the total number of convictions decreased by 44% and the number of convictions for sexual crimes decreased by 33%, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur said:
“The crash in convictions during the pandemic was inevitable as the legal system adjusted to new ways of working. Yet the Scottish Government’s plans for brutal cuts to justice budgets, however, risk saddling our courts with a permanent backlog.
“The consequences of this are that everyone suffers: victims, witnesses and those accused. As we know, justice delayed is justice denied and these cuts threaten ever lengthier delays.
"We need to see fresh resources for our beleaguered justice system and a fundamental reform of legal aid funding to prevent a further haemorrhage of solicitors from the scheme.”