Labour’s James Daly asked how the department was maximising use of the current court estate and the government's view on the continued role of Nightingale courts to address the backlog.
Cartlidge said 32 Crown Nightingale courtrooms have been extended until the end of March and individual Nightingale courtrooms are being extended on a case-by-case basis.
‘The existing estate in our courts is where the custody cell capacity is,’ he added. ‘We need that to come back into use. Two key decisions were made to help us bring those rooms back into use. First of all last summer, we came out of lockdown at the earliest opportunity while others were suggesting we should remain in lockdown. This Christmas, we didn’t panic, we didn’t lock down, we listened to the data. If we had gone with the recommendation from the Labour party, the administration in Wales, we’d have had 2m social distancing back in our Crown court rooms. Fortunately, I spoke to the counsel general in Wales. They took measures to be more flexible and were able to keep the courts open, which is why the backlog is now falling.’
For full article https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/we-did-not-panic-minister-hails-progress-on-courts-backlog/5111435.article?utm_source=gazette_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SFO+under+investigation+%7c+Solicitor+suspended+over+%c2%a32.9m+costs+claim+%7c+SQE+fails+on+diversity_02%2f09%2f2022