The Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland QC MP has announced that the temporary ‘Nightingale Courts’ will begin hearing cases from next week, following the unveiling of the 10 sites on July 19.
The Nightingale Court will provide more capacity for court cases and tribunals that have struggled to operate through the pandemic, to ensure justice continues to be served.
A £142m investment has been made across the courts system, to speed up technological improvements and modernise courtrooms.
The temporary sites, including Middlesbrough Town Hall, the Knights’ Chamber and the Ministry of Justice’s headquarters in London, will hear civil, family and tribunals work as well as non-custodial crime cases.
The first court to begin hearings will be set up in East Pallant House, Chichester, and is expected to begin next week, with all 10 locations operational throughout August.
The confirmed sites are:
- Former county court at Telford, Shropshire
- Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage
- Swansea Council Chambers, Swansea
- Cloth Hall Court, Leeds
- Middlesbrough Town Hall, Teesside
- East Pallant House, Chichester
- 102 Petty France, London
- Prospero House, London
- Former magistrates’ court at Fleetwood, Lancashire
- Knights’ Chamber and Visitor Centre, Bishop’s Palace, Peterborough Cathedral
The Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland QC MP said:
“Our action to keep the justice system running throughout the pandemic has been globally recognised, with these Nightingale Courts being the latest step in this effort.
“They will help boost capacity across our courts and tribunals - reducing delays and delivering speedier justice for victims.
“But we won’t stop there. Together with the judiciary, courts staff and legal sector, I am determined that we must pursue every available option to ensure our courts recover as quickly as possible.”
Further Nightingale Courts are also being explored to alleviate pressures, as almost half of all courts were closed and jury trials paused to minimise social interaction in March 2020.