The ad-hoc court docket at and many others.venues Monument has been internet hosting trials from the Outdated Bailey and Isleworth, Snaresbrook, and Harrow crown courts, working in tandem with one other ‘Nightingale’ at Barbican.
Launched in September 2021, the Monument courthouse was unfold over 4 flooring of the convention centre and options two listening to rooms the place jury trials might happen.
Nevertheless HM Courts and Tribunals Service is because of pack up and depart the venue by April 7, in a transfer branded “disappointing” and “completely unjustifiable”.
The Ministry of Justice mentioned a alternative for the Monument Nightingale is being sought, as London battles a persistent backlog of felony circumstances.
Reacting to the information, London’s Victims’ Commissioner Claire Waxman mentioned: “The Nightingale court docket at Monument has been working tirelessly to assist deal with the backlog of crown court docket circumstances so this resolution to shut this court docket within the face of such large case backlogs can be irresponsible and completely unjustifiable.
“Victims are being failed by being compelled to face agonising waits – generally for years – for his or her day in court docket. These waits not solely exacerbate trauma and stop their restoration, however considerably improve the danger of victims withdrawing from the justice system altogether. This leaves offenders unpunished and locations the general public at nice danger.
“I’ve been repeatedly calling on Authorities for extra Nightingale capability, not much less, as London is struggling to ship justice. Extra court docket capability ought to embrace a devoted court docket for sexual violence circumstances, to assist prioritise a few of the most weak victims.”
Barrister Christine Agnew QC, who’s chief of the South Japanese Circuit, confirmed the information in a bulletin to colleagues on Thursday: “Any of you lucky sufficient to have attended the Monument Nightingale Courtroom can be dissatisfied to be taught that the lease of the constructing will expire in April.
“Circumstances can be listed there up till April 7, 2022 however not past. HMCTS are hoping to determine a alternative Nightingale Courtroom upon the closure of Monument.”
The way forward for all 32 Nightingale Courts coping with felony circumstances throughout England and Wales – together with 4 in London – is at the moment in limbo.
On the opening of the Monument Nightingale, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab promised to “pull on each lever to make sure the felony justice system recovers as rapidly as doable from the pandemic”.
In addition to Monument and Barbican, ad-hoc courts are operating on the Jurys Inn resort in Croydon and Prospero Home convention centre in Borough. It’s understood these Nightingales are being saved open past March.
Further house for felony trials has additionally been created on the outdated Hendon magistrates court docket and throughout the Royal Courts of Justice, whereas a Nightingale household court docket is operating within the Ministry of Justice headquarters in Petty France.
“We’re within the strategy of figuring out a brand new venue to switch the court docket at Monument”, mentioned a Ministry of Justice spokesperson.
“Nightingale courts are only one a part of our efforts to deal with the affect of the pandemic alongside better use of expertise, tremendous courtrooms, rising magistrates’ sentencing powers and limitless Crown Courtroom sitting days.”
The newest HMCTS figures present there’s a backlog of 59,928 within the felony courts, with many defendants, victims, and witnesses going through greater than a yr of delay earlier than their case may be heard.
The removing of pandemic restrictions on courts is steadily bringing extra listening to rooms again into use, and the MoJ has dedicated to limitless judicial sitting days to deal with the backlog.
Nevertheless the federal government estimates there’ll nonetheless be a backlog of round 53,000 circumstances in March 2025.