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Magistrates' Courts: Closures

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 286362, tabled on 3 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of magistrates courts closures on (a) waiting times for cases to be heard and (b) the frequency with which cases are adjourned.

Answered on

9 September 2019

HM Courts & Tribunals Service monitors waiting times and the proportion of cases which are completed at first hearing. There is no indication that either have been adversely affected by the closure of magistrates’ courts since 2016.

The closure of a court is subject to public consultation and a decision to close is not taken lightly. In every case, the Lord Chancellor will only agree to close a court when satisfied that effective access to justice can be maintained.

We are reinvesting every penny raised from selling these underused buildings into modernising the justice system to provide swifter and easier access to justice for all