Duty Solicitors would have received a recovery rota for Westminster and City of London Magistrates’ Courts earlier today.
To clarify the position, we have been informed that the City of London Magistrates’ Court building is now open and will be hearing GAP and NGAP cases only, as per the recovery rota circulated today. Duty Solicitors will now need to attend the City of London building and not Westminster for City of London slots.
We have asked for the Risk Assessment for City of London. We have been informed that this is still being done and will be shared to us for onward circulation as soon as it is ready.
We have also been made aware that Resident Judges in the Crown Courts have now been given a “hotline” to contact prisons in order to expedite legal prison video links in cases they deem appropriate, likely those earmarked for the first tranche of jury trials. Great news for those involved in those trials but bad news for everyone else as it means a video link arranged elsewhere will have to be “bumped” to accommodate the expedited case until they either increase the capacity for video links, or re-open the prisons for in-person visits. To date, we have not been made aware of any timeframe for in-person visits to be resumed.
We would ask that members continue to report to us any health and safety concerns with individual courts, especially any concerns with the newly re-opened City of London Magistrates’ Court. Your examples are passed straight to the Cluster Manager for London Magistrates’ Courts for investigation and are taken seriously by HMCTS.