Courts: Closures

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the reduction in court capacity as a result of court closures in the last 10 years.

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

Since 2010, the permanent court and tribunal estate has reduced from a total of 605 operational court and tribunal buildings to 330 operational court and tribunal buildings.

The closure of any court is not taken lightly – it only happens following full public consultation. We have been clear that courts have only closed where they were underused, dilapidated or too close to one another and in each case, we have only agreed to close the court where sufficient capacity existed in other nearby courts to accommodate the work of the closing courts.

HMCTS has published an update on their response to Covid-19 in the criminal courts in England and Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus). This includes details on the use of Nightingale courts and our plans to open additional locations.

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