The iconic downtown landmark will open its doors as part of the government’s plan to combat the effects of coronavirus on the justice system.
St. George’s Hall will be opened this week as a nightingale court to combat the backlog of cases created by the pandemic.
It will open as part of the government’s plan to combat the effects of the coronavirus on the justice system.
This follows a recent £80 million investment in the court system to fund the recruitment of 1,600 new staff to support the recovery.
Nightingale courts are one of several measures introduced to ensure that courts recover from the pandemic as quickly as possible.
Although the historic building actually served as the city’s court well into the 20th century, the new Nightingale Courtroom will provide non-custodial magistrate work, such as probation orders or community service orders – making room for more jury trials at Liverpool’s Crown Court.
Alan Smith, General Manager of St. George’s Hall Liverpool, said “We are delighted to be able to accommodate, support and host HMCTS at St. George’s Hall Crown Court.
The Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Philp MP, said: “I am grateful to St George’s Hall for joining the national effort to reduce delays and provide justice to victims more quickly.
“This is the latest step in our tireless work with the judiciary and the legal sector in pursuing all available options to ensure that our courts recover as quickly as possible.
“During the COVID 19 pandemic, it is amazing how organizations have been able to adapt and work together to ensure that key services are supported.
“It is also fantastic to see the hall’s magnificent Crown Court come back to life and fulfill its original function as a court.
A total of 16 nightingale courts are now open nationwide and were quickly established to alleviate pressure on the court system. They offer a total of 29 additional courtrooms.
With more provisional nightingale courts and technology to increase capacity, these measures are beginning to show positive results:
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The Crown Court in Liverpool is also testing new “covid operating hours” – this will increase the number of hours the court can be used for proceedings outside the usual weekday hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This temporary measure aims to maximize the HM Courts & Tribunal Service’s (HMCTS) own assets while ensuring that no party needs to appear in court for any length of time. It is currently being evaluated.