Trials: Administrative Delays

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of The Marquess of Lothian The Marquess of Lothian Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average waiting time for cases to come to trial in England; and what action they are taking to speed up the process.

Photo of Baroness Scott of Bybrook Baroness Scott of Bybrook Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Data relating to the waiting time in weeks for cases at the Crown Court in England and Wales can be found in Tables C6 (by case type), C7 (by plea) and C8 (by remand status) of the published National Statistics series ‘Criminal Court Statistics Quarterly’ (latest to June 2020)

Waiting times for England alone require a further breakdown from the published data and are provided in the table attached with this response.

On Monday 7 September, the Crime Recovery Plan was published which sets out our comprehensive plan to tackle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the justice system by boosting capacity across criminal courts.

As one of the first among other comparable jurisdictions globally to resume jury trials, our Crown Courts are currently listing over 200 jury trials and conducting thousands of other hearings every week. The magistrates’ courts have been completing more cases than they receive, dealing with over 21,000 cases each week and tackling the backlog.

We have also installed plexiglass screens into over 200 courtrooms and over 100 jury retiring rooms enabling us to safely open 255 Crown Court rooms for jury trials, roughly the number that were hearing jury trials before Covid.

We’re also investing record amounts - the biggest single investment in court estate maintenance for more than 20 years – and have unlocked vital capacity by opening 16 Nightingale Courts to provide 29 additional court rooms.

HL9935 - table (xlsx, 133.5KB)

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