The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a significant impact on the Scottish criminal justice system. Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for those due to attend court page, or the Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for bereaved families page for further information.
In working to ensure the criminal justice system is fair and effective, COPFS is committed to meeting the diverse needs of victims and witnesses and respecting the rights of those accused of crime.
People coping with the physical and emotional effects of crime can find involvement with the justice system stressful and confusing. COPFS makes every effort to be sensitive and responsive to the needs of victims of crime. In doing so, we also aid the effective prosecution of crime.
Witnesses play an essential part in the justice system, providing important information about court cases. Witnesses can be cited, or called, to give evidence by COPFS either to help prosecute someone of a criminal offence or to establish the cause of a death.
Charged with an offence
As Scotland’s prosecution service, COPFS prosecutes all types of offences, from failing to pay for a TV licence and road traffic offences to the most serious crimes, such as murder and rape.
From 1 December 2020 there will be changes to the way that COPFS works with the defence to process summary cases. Defence agents are expected to submit a request for a Pre-intermediate diet meeting (PIDM) via our new booking system.