Skip to main content

Courts: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL4811, tabled on 8 December 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide extra Nightingale court capacity in order to address the backlog of legal cases.

Answered on

22 December 2021

As part of the Spending Review we announced that we will be investing £477 million in the Criminal Justice System over the next three years. This will help to meet the increased demand from the additional police officers, reduce the backlog and deliver the swift access to justice that victims deserve.

Analysis suggests this new investment could both improve waiting times and significantly reduce the number of outstanding cases by the end of the spending review period, ensuring that we do right by victims of crime.

The Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunals Service are working together to determine the optimal allocation of funding secured at the Spending Review for 2022/23 and beyond, including the spend on physical capacity to support the continuing recovery of court performance. This process is set to conclude in early 2022.

Our decisive action in the courts kept justice moving during the pandemic.

We allocated over a quarter of a billion pounds to support 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 Crown jury courtrooms until the end of March 2022.

These measures are already working. The caseload in the Crown court has stabilised at around 60,000 cases, and we are listing over a thousand cases each week.