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News

A creative approach to criminal court recovery

10. Jun 2021

Former RLC member, HHJ Noel Lucas QC (Resident Judge at Wood Green Crown Court) and RLC member Richard Beynon have helped facilitate an innovative solution in ensuring justice and trials can continue at Wood Green Crown Court. Both have worked with Hendon Magistrates Court to pilot judicial working practices and provide extra space to Wood Green Crown Court during the pandemic for Jury Trials. Hendon will support Wood Green CC in this way for the next 12 months with jurors finding themselves seated in and around what used to be the public gallery.

After more than 6 months of planning, HHJ Noel Lucas QC, now in temporary chambers in Hendon, welcomed the new facilities. He said:

“These additional courtrooms will enable us to virtually double our trial capacity. We may not be able to stem the tide of our backlog increasing, but we will very significantly slow that increase down. Justice delayed is justice denied. I know it's a well-worn expression, but it means something. It means that those who have been victims of crime are entitled to have their allegations resolved swiftly and fairly and those who are accused of a crime are also entitled to have their cases resolved both swiftly and fairly. I feel very strongly that we must do everything in our power to increase our trial capacity for those reasons.”
Since opening on April 8, Wood Green CC has seen 60 trials since open running at 100% capacity.

RLC member, Richard Beynon participated in a full mock trial, commented:

“I was a marshal, coming in with Judge Lucas to see things from the bench and really to pick up those items that it’s very difficult to gauge unless you actually see it in front of you. It is important that we look at every avenue and that justice is served for all in these difficult times. The transformation has been very positive and I am happy to see the courts working together in this genuine and creative way to speed up recovery within the Criminal Justice System.”

Read article here: [Inside HMCTS]
Watch HM Courts and Tribunal Services video interview here: [LinkedIn]
News report: [Evening Standard]

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