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Courts: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL13521, tabled on 22 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to fund additional Nightingale courts to clear the current court backlog.

Answered on

8 March 2021

To ensure the safety of the physical estate and continue our efforts to tackle demand on the system we are investing £142m in court buildings and facilities, and a further £113m on a range of emergency measures – including the recruitment of 1,600 additional staff and creating more Nightingale courts.

This funding – the largest investment in justice for decades – helped the system to turn a corner in December 2020 so that we were closing the same number of cases as before the pandemic in almost all jurisdictions, including Crown Courts.

Up to the end of February 2021 we have opened 23 Nightingale courts providing 44 additional courtrooms. More are opening each week and we are on track to provide a total of 60 courtrooms across the estate by the end of March.

Through our Spending Review settlement, we have secured significant additional funding in the next financial year to assist in the recovery of our courts and tribunals system, and we continue to consider the measures that are needed to achieve this.