Crown Court Backlog

Part of Justice – in the House of Commons at on 20 February 2024.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice)

Rape and serious sexual assault cases have increased to 10.3% of all Crown court cases and, with nearly 10,000 of them, they make up one in seven of the backlog. The average wait time for a trial after charge has risen to 18 months. We also know from the Criminal Bar Association that there has been a tenfold increase in adjourned cases due to the fall in the number of rape and serious sexual offence prosecution or defence barristers, with the Crown Prosecution Service now employing King’s counsel to fill the gap. Add to that the many legal aid deserts due to the shortage of solicitors and we have a major staffing crisis across the criminal justice system. How is that going to be fixed?