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Court: Closures

House of Lords written question – answered on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Lord Rosser Lord Rosser Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any magistrates' courts, Crown Courts or County Courts plan to have some or all of their courtrooms closed immediately preceding or during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; if so, which courts; for what reasons; and for what periods of time.

Photo of Lord McNally Lord McNally Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords

Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service is in the process of developing its plans for next summer.

In particular, the courts in the London region are undertaking detailed planning and are currently reviewing available intelligence on likely travel disruption to the capital and how it might affect court users getting to and from courts.

There is an expectation that the courts in central London will need to suppress normal court business during the Olympic Games (27 July to 12 August) but how many fewer courtrooms will operate and details of any necessary courthouse closures have yet to be determined.

Further research is under way to assess whether or not court business should be suppressed in London courts before the Olympic Games, between the Olympic Games and Paralympics, during the Paralympics and immediately after the Paralympics, ie the full six-week period.

By the end of January 2012, a clearer view of the impact on courts will be available. If the suppression of business is deemed necessary, steps will be put in place to ensure that any rescheduled cases can be dealt with quickly.

Given its proximity to the majority of the Games venues, London is leading the planning process. Some courts in south-east England may be affected by some travel disruption, but to a lesser extent than in central London, and little disruption is anticipated for the rest of England and Wales.

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