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Courts: Opening Hours

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 76855, tabled on 20 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to publish an update on the progress of the pilot schemes run at Manchester and Brentford courts in early 2020 to test the efficacy of flexible working hours for courts.

Answered on

28 July 2020

The Flexible Operating Hours pilots took place at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the County Court at Brentford from September 2019 to March 2020. Upon the pilots concluding an update was published in May 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/flexible-operating-hours-pilots-conclude-at-manchester-and-brentford

HMCTS has appointed a consortium of IFF Research and Frontier Economics to carry out an independent evaluation of the Flexible Operating Hours pilots. The evaluation is being conducted as set out in the evaluation plan, published July 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flexible-operating-hours-evaluation-plan-and-summary. The evaluation report will be published following completion, in the autumn.

Options for extending working hours in the Crown and Magistrates’ courts are under consideration. There has been no pilot scheme to test the efficacy of extended working hours at Liverpool Crown Court.