Commenting on the latest Government announcement on courts, Chair of the Bar Council, Derek Sweeting QC said: “Maintaining additional court space until next March is good news, but we need long-term investment, not a short term fix.
“The consistent use of remote hearings where appropriate will help clear the backlog, but sentencing via a screen needs careful consideration and should not be routine.
‘Temporary Operating Arrangements’ is yet another title for an extended court day. There is little evidence that this measure will increase throughput or allow the court estate to be used more efficiently. Following the closure of over 300 courts, it was assumed that it was reasonable for court users to leave home at 7.30am and travel for up to two hours one way, just to arrive at court. A longer court day will have an impact on all court users, particularly those reliant on public transport and with caring responsibilities.”