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News: Labour criticises court delays as backlog hits all-time high

Mon, 12 Apr 21

Many landlords awaiting the hearing of possession cases will hardly need reminding, but new figures from the Ministry of Justice give an insight into the backlogs now building up in courts. 

The pipeline of unheard cases in Crown Courts alone hit 57,000 in February according to figures out this week - and Labour is oil the attack wanting action.

It says there should be a rapid increase in the roll out of so-called Nightingale Courts - these are temporary courts using non-legal buildings. They have previously been cited by the government as a means of clearing cases, including those for Section 21 possessions.

Labour also wants juries of six in most cases until restrictions are lifted, the roll-out of mass testing in courts and 33,000 additional sitting days.

David Lammy, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, says: “The government is letting victims of crime down by allowing the Crown Court backlog to reach more than 57,000 cases for the very first time.

“A decade of Conservative cuts to courts, sitting days and the whole justice system allowed the backlog to grow to a staggering 39,000 cases even before the pandemic began.

“The government must now finally listen to Labour and enact the emergency measures we have been pushing for months to ensure victims do not face even worse delays.”

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