Last night the Prime Minister set out further plans for courts in the UK to begin looking at hearing the backlog of cases due to go through the system.
The Law Society Gazette reported on 26 June that the amount of cases waiting to be hears in the Magistrates court in the UK has now reached 484,000 and the Crown courts backlog stands at 41,000.
Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland has outlined plans by government in relation to this situation. £142 million has been set aside to improve more than 100 courts across the UK, and allow changes to 750 more courtrooms to enable them to handle cases remotely. £48 million had already been set aside for maintenance to courts through this financial year.
UK courts have managed to continue to hear cases remotely throughout the pandemic, but the numbers have been nowhere near usual levels. 10 so-called Nightingale courts are planned to take up some of the backlog, and these will be large enough to allow for social distancing measures to be observed.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the global landscape in many areas, and the UK court system is not exempt from any changes.
Moving forward, there will be more changes to come, some of which are much needed and this will renew the system. The crisis has provided an opportunity to review any additional areas within the system that could ensure the UK courts system is working in the smartest and most resilient way that it can.