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Crown Court: Opening Hours

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 1090, tabled on 7 January 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to increase the number of court sitting days so that more Crown court cases can be heard; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

15 January 2020

Sitting days are kept under close review to ensure changes in demand are met by the court system. In November, we allocated an extra 700 days to the Crown Court for this financial year in response to an increase in the number of cases coming to court.

Sitting days are monitored and assigned based on the number of cases we expect the courts to receive annually. This approach has enabled us to reduce the number of outstanding cases in the Crown Court in England and Wales by almost 40% since 2014.

We are also considering options for a Royal Commission on the criminal justice process, which could deliver a fundamental review of some of the key issues which are affecting the system now, or may do in the future.