Regulation & Government

MoJ announces return of 60 Crown Court rooms

Moreover, 32 Nightingale Court rooms are set to have their leases extended to April 2022, having been set up temporarily to increase capacity and reduce delays

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced that roughly 60 Crown Court rooms by September following a lifting of restrictions across England and Wales.

Moreover, 32 Nightingale Court rooms are set to have their leases extended to April 2022, having been set up temporarily to increase capacity and reduce delays.

As a part of the measures to “deliver speedier justice”, judges will also have the option to open courtrooms for longer under new temporary operating arrangements (TOAs).

Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland said: “I’m delighted that we can begin to carefully reopen more of the courts estate – increasing capacity significantly to deliver swifter justice for victims.

“We’re also giving judges greater flexibility to open courts for longer and move more hearings online, while extending the leases of Nightingale Court rooms which have been crucial in helping reduce delays during the pandemic.”

He added: “Alongside our plan to have no limit on the number of days Crown Courts can sit for this year, we are pursuing every available option to ensure the justice system can build back stronger as quickly as possible.”

The announcement forms a wider initiative by the MoJ to operate at full capacity to recover from the pandemic and tackle delays.

Also included in the measures are the running of 290 courtrooms for jury trials and the hosting of over 20,000 remote hearings each week.

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