023 9238 1114

Out of hours 08080 333363
Wednesday, 03 April 2019 15:43

Magistrates court closures

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Half of magistrates courts in England and Wales closed since 2010

Defendants, witnesses, police, lawyers and JPs left having to travel huge distances to court

More than half of all magistrates courts in England and Wales have closed since 2010, forcing defendants, witnesses, police, lawyers and justices of the peace to travel sometimes more than 50 miles to access local justice.

The full scale of the closures is revealed in data published by the Guardian and the House of Commons library. Since the coalition government came to power in 2010, 162 of the 323 magistrates courts in England and Wales have shut – a loss of 50.2% of the estate. The latest was Maidenhead magistrates court in the prime minister’s constituency. Most have been sold.

The controversial Ministry of Justice (MOJ) efficiency exercise is directly tied to the need to generate funds for a £1.2bn digital modernisation programme, which came under the spotlight following a meltdown of court computer systems this week.

As large gaps open up in the courts network in Wales, East Anglia and the North of England, HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has confirmed it is considering whether to pay for taxis to ferry defendants and witnesses from the most remote parts of the country to hearings.

The distance model developed by HMCTS requires that 95% of the population should be able to travel to court from their homes by public transport leaving at 7.30am and arriving by 9.30am. It also specifies that 98% of the population should be able to reach court by 10.30am, which implies a three-hour journey to court and a further three hours back – a total of six hours travelling on a court attendance day.

For full article please click https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jan/27/half-of-magistrates-courts-in-england-and-wales-closed-since-tories-elected

Read 49 times
We have two offices in the Hampshire area. Contact us via email, call us or drop by. Arrangements can also be made to meet you at a court local to you nationwide and video conferencing facilities are available via your mobile, tablet, laptop or computer.
Portsmouth Office

4 Highbury Buildings,
Portsmouth, PO6 2SN
Email: lawyerswessexsolicitors.co.uk
Emergency Tel: 08080 333363
Tel: 023 9238 1114
Fax: 023 9238 1115

Gosport Office

(Appointment Only)
53 Stoke Road,
PO12 1LS
Tel: 023 9250 3366

Criminal Defence Service Logo

Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - Registration No. 518972
Wessex Solicitors Chambers is the trading name of Wessex Solicitors Chambers Limited
VAT No: 6739730 94

The Law Society Criminal Litigation Logo
Wessex Solicitors