Fourteen more temporary ‘Nightingale’ courts
will be established by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to assist in clearing the backlog of cases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministry has also announced what it has dubbed the first ‘super courtroom’ to hear large complex cases.
Hotels in Manchester and Birmingham will be among the venues for the new courts. Manchester will also host the super courtroom, which will be established in the existing Crown Court building in Crown Square. According to the MoJ, this court will deal with multi-hander cases such as gang murder trials.
In a press statement, the lord chancellor, Robert Buckland QC MP, said: ‘We have achieved an immense amount in our battle to keep justice moving during the pandemic.’ The new courts, he added, ‘are the latest step in that effort, and I am determined to minimise delays and ensure justice is served for victims, defendants and the public’.