Search for more Nightingale courts
Lawyers called for “adequate” coronavirus security measures, including “widespread testing”, as they welcomed plans to open more Nightingale courts to clean up the backlog of increasing criminal cases.
The government said it would open the first “super courtroom” where gang trials were held, and more ad hoc courtrooms in hotels, theaters and conference centers.
The Manchester Crown Court will have a “super courtroom” to handle cases involving several defendants being tried simultaneously, such as gang murder cases.
The Department of Justice (MoJ) initially said that 14 more venues would be converted into Nightingale courts, and later announced that it would be 14 extra rooms in seven buildings in Barbican, Aldersgate House in London, Manchester Hilton in Deansgate and others in Birmingham. In addition to the more than 20 players currently open – Croydon, Wolverhampton, Liverpool and Chichester.
Justice Department figures show that at the beginning of the year the backlog of criminal courts increased to over half a million again, with some lawyers saying they saw cases listed for 2023.