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HomeSector InsightsJustice & Criminal'Swifter justice' as courts set to carry on at full capacity

‘Swifter justice’ as courts set to carry on at full capacity

The cap on sitting days has been lifted for the second year running with courts expected to continue working at full capacity.

The Ministry of Justice has said that the move will speed up the justice system to help reduce the backlog of cases, which increased significantly during the pandemic.

More than 98,500 days were sat in 2021/22 after the cap was lifted, compared to around 82,000 in 2019/20.

So far, the Ministry of Justice has spent £250m on dealing with the impact of covid, and is set to invest £477m in the criminal justice system over the next three years, to help tackle the backlogs.

Many crown courts which were unavailable due to the pandemic have now been reopened and 30 Nightingale courtrooms, which were commissioned to provide extra capacity for socially-distanced trials, will stay open until March. This means around 500 crown courtrooms are now available for hearings and trials.

Deputy prime minister, lord chancellor and secretary of state for Justice, Dominic Raab said: “Getting the courts backlog down is a key priority for this Government so that we can ensure victims get the swift access to justice they deserve.

“Alongside the extension of Nightingale Courts, digital hearings and investing significantly in criminal legal aid, we are removing the limit on sitting days for a second year to boost capacity and help drive down the Crown Court backlog of cases.”

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