The Virtual Trials National Project Board has published a report which suggests that every sheriffdom should have a virtual summary court which deals with domestic abuse cases. 
The report considers the pilots which were held in Inverness and Aberdeen. This allowed for insight into the practical consequences, the options for decision makers and the necessary changes to legislation for the proposals to progress. 
It was established that introducing dedicated virtual summary courts for domestic abuse cases can offer a number of advantages including: increased protection for complainers which ultimately would reduce trauma; increased efficiency for witnesses to give evidence; reduce the need for travel to and from court; reduce delays and introduce trauma informed practices. 
It was taken into consideration whether a virtual trial could ensure that an accused person receives a fair trial. No member of the board had any concerns about the ability to assess the credibility and reliability of witnesses in virtual trials. The feedback from the groups was ‘overwhelmingly positive’ and expressed that virtual trials offered a number of benefits. 
Lord Carloway explained that: “I fully support the recommendation of the Virtual Trials National Project board that a virtual domestic abuse summary trial court should be established in each Sheriffdom. The pilot has clearly established the merit of this proposal. I congratulate the Project board for their hard work and dedication to the project and their innovative and progressive thinking.”
Keith Brown, Justice Secretary also stated: “I welcome this report and the opportunity it presents to mitigate the impact of delays caused by the Coronavirus pandemic on victims of domestic abuse, as well as reducing trauma.  The involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in these discussions highlights the benefits which the model could help to realise, with the support of the whole criminal justice system and the active participation of victim support organisations.”