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The Royal Courts of Justice

Rebecca Upton features in The Independent article, “Where have all the judges gone? Record number of trials delayed over staffing crisis.


The Independent has revealed that a record number of trials, including for crimes involving rape and violence, have been delayed at the last minute because no judge can be found to hear them.

Rebecca told The Independent last week that three of the four hearings she had scheduled for the following day had been cancelled that lunchtime because the courts don’t have enough courtrooms.

“But they definitely do, it’s just the courtrooms don’t have anyone sitting in them to deal with the cases,” Ms Upton said.

Ms Upton recalled that one court she frequently worked at had previously had 10 courtrooms using 10 circuit judges, and “occasionally you’d have a recorder sitting if one of those judges was on holiday”.

But despite there now being 12 available courtrooms, “due to judicial retirements there are now only six circuit judges there”. This results in a greater reliance on part-time judges, who are paid a more costly day rate, and some of whom will not be qualified to hear the most serious cases.

She added: “This gold-star criminal justice system that was world-renowned has definitely more than cracked.”

You can read the article in full here.


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