CRIMINAL trials at Dumbarton Sheriff Court are likely to take significantly longer to resolve in future as a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to the most senior judge in Scotland.

The Lord President, Lord Carloway, also says that hearings via video link, and other online services, will be treated as “core components” of the country’s justice system in future, rather than as stop-gap alternatives.

The court building in Dumbarton began hearing a small number of cases earlier this month following the temporary transfer of business to Paisley in March, but the vast majority of cases are still being deferred weeks or months into the future without the accused having to attend in person.

Lord Carloway also warned that future jury trials might require the use of two or three courtrooms per trial.