Saturday 25 September 2021 12:59 pm

Square Mile conference centre becomes makeshift court amid mounting backlog

A conference centre has become one of London’s latest Nightingale Court’s, which have been brought in to ease the mounting trials backlog the city is facing.

The backlog, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, stretches across the rest of the country. With some trials even being transferred from the capital to alternative courts outside of the city.

Juries will deliberate at etc.venues in Monument, where four floors have been taken over by HM Courts and Tribunal Service, the Evening Standard first reported.

The makeshift court, which opened on Monday and is the fourth Nightingale Court to be opened in London, is set to see its first trials this coming Monday.

Though it is the City’s second Nightingale, as the Monument courts looks on at the famous ‘Walkie Talkie’ building.

The court will work alongside the makeshift court at Aldersgate House in Barbican, sharing cases across both venues.

The judge leading the Monument Nightingale Dafna Spiro said: “We are absolutely one team in the two courts, and everybody will be expected to be able to go to either court venue.

“Even the judges, we can’t be precious about where we are sitting. We have to move with the business needs.”

Cases risk being delayed by months unless they are transferred, as the capital’s crown court backlog has hit 60,000 cases so far this year, according to data from the Ministry of Justice – the highest since records began.