New ‘Nightingale Court’ opens at Hull University

  • new temporary Nightingale court opens in Hull
  • 36 additional court rooms are now open with more to come
  • part of government’s plan to ensure justice continues to be served throughout pandemic

The new site will be in the recently revamped, Victorian-era Canham Turner building. It will provide an extra courtroom that will hear civil and family cases – providing additional capacity at Hull Combined Crown Court.

Temporary ‘Nightingale’ courts, have been set up across the country to enable more socially distanced trials to take place, ensuring justice continues to be served.

This is because more space is required than was previously the case due to the need to keep everyone distanced in the buildings – such as jurors, witnesses, court staff, legal professionals and judges.

Courts Minister, Chris Philp MP, said:

I am grateful to Hull University for joining the national effort to reduce delays and deliver speedier justice for victims in Humberside.

This is having a real impact and the number of crown court cases being heard across England and Wales is now back up to what it was before the pandemic struck last Spring. We are also cutting backlogs in the magistrates’ courts where most cases are heard.

The move forms part of a £110 million investment to deliver 40 Nightingale court rooms and funds a range of measures to address the number of outstanding cases.

These efforts will be supported by an extra £337 million announced in the recent Spending Review to deliver swifter justice and support victims, while £76 million will further increase capacity in family courts and tribunals

Further sites in Staffordshire and Cirencester are expected to open later this month, bringing the total number of temporary court rooms set up nationwide to 40.

These form part of wider measures designed to keep the justice system moving and ensure the quickest possible recovery – including the recruitment of 1,600 more court staff, rolling out further technology, and installing temporary jury rooms across the country to enable more trials to be heard safely.

These measures are beginning to show positive results:

  • Since August, we have been sitting additional magistrates’ court sessions on a Saturday, amounting to around 100 extra sessions a month, and these courts have cleared over 3,000 cases. During this time, magistrates’ courts have been consistently completing more cases than they have received, and the outstanding caseload is therefore reducing.
  • More jury trial rooms open every week, with more than 290 courtrooms being assessed as capable and available to hold jury trials.
  • Plexiglass screens have been installed in more than 400 court rooms and jury deliberation rooms, enabling more jury trials to be heard.

Meanwhile, a major £153 million investment across the courts system announced in July 2020 will speed up technological improvements and modernise court rooms.

Notes

  1. More than £110 million is being invested in a range of measures to tackle the impact of COVID-19, including the recruitment of 1,600 additional staff and opening more Nightingale courts
  2. We’re also spending £153 million to improve court and tribunal buildings – the biggest single investment in court estate maintenance for more than 20 years
  3. This progress will be bolstered by an extra £337 million the government is spending next year to deliver swifter justice and support victims, while an additional £76 million will further increase capacity in family courts and tribunals
  4. Details on measures to keep courts safe, secure and clean

More details on the Nightingale court rooms in operation

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.