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Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th July 2020.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Transport)

Whether his Department has conducted an equalities impact assessment of the proposal to replace jury trials with trials by a judge and two magistrates to tackle the backlog in criminal cases as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Equality considerations are always given very careful thought when developing policies. However, we have no plans to remove the right to jury trial, something that I am deeply committed to.

Recovery continues each week. Thanks to the hard work of professionals across the system more than 150 courts remained fully open to the public throughout the pandemic. There are now over 300 courts and tribunals fully open.

We want to do more. So we’re looking for new court capacity, reviewing opening hours and making the most of the change in social distancing. And it’s right that we should think ambitiously, leaving no stone unturned as we continue to increase the number of trials and deliver swift and effective justice.

Having already responded effectively to Covid-19, HMCTS published a Recovery Plan on 1st July providing further detail of the next steps.

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