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Judicial Review

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 75806, tabled on 16 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the oral contribution by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice of 9 November 2021, Official Report , column 160, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of Cart-type judicial review cases on the Crown Court backlog.

Answered on

23 November 2021

In the oral contribution by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice to which he refers, the PUS refers to the ‘precious resource’ of High Court Judges. As it states on ‘High Court judges can hear the most serious and sensitive cases in the Crown Court (for example murder)’. Our impact assessment sets out the Cart judicial review measure will save 172-180 judge days per year in the High Court and Upper Tribunal. A High Court Judge, who would otherwise be devoting time to considering Cart judicial review, may therefore instead devote that time to considering other serious cases in the Crown Court.

We continue to take action to tackle the impact the pandemic has had on our criminal justice system, including Crown Court backlog.

The Judicial Review and Courts Bill provides the Crown Court with increased flexibility to return certain cases to the magistrates’ court, helping support court recovery by saving an estimated 400 Crown Court sitting days per year.

We have allocated over a quarter of a billion pounds on recovery in the last financial year, making court buildings safe, rolling out new technology for remote hearings, recruiting additional staff and opening Nightingale courtrooms, including retaining 32 Nightingale Court rooms until the end of March 2022.

The Ministry of Justice’s Spending Review settlement provides £477 million to improve waiting times for victims and to reduce Crown Court backlogs caused by the pandemic.

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