As I have suggested already, we are currently engaged in a herculean national effort to get our courts back up and running, starting with the use of remote technology, which I talked about a few moments ago. Beyond that, we are reopening courts that have been closed. We are now up to 168 courts opened as of
There was already a huge backlog of Crown court cases before the coronavirus outbreak. My concern is that many people will be remanded in custody without having been convicted of any offences. Technically they are innocent until proven guilty. What impact has the outbreak had on the time they are having to spend time remanded in custody without having been convicted of an offence? Does he have numbers?
Custody limits do still apply as they did before, and I know that as judges make their individual listing decisions, they have regard to custody time limits approaching. I imagine that individual judges as a matter of practice would seek to prioritise cases where custody time limits are being approached. Where someone has been convicted but awaits sentence, we have been working very actively with the judiciary to prioritise having those cases heard, because if upon sentence there is not a custodial sentence, obviously the person is then free to go. Those cases are being prioritised through the system, but in particular by judges in the way they take their listing decisions.
The Minister can maybe add Chorley to his list of reopenings.