Trinity Criminal Silk Featured on BBC Radio 4's Law in Action
The long-running legal magazine programme is presented by leading industry commentator, solicitor, author and journalist, Joshua Rozenberg. The episode entitled "Fire Courts", explores the lessons that can be learned from the Great Fire of London when dealing with the modern plague of COVID-19. On the brink of the second lockdown in England the session discusses the impact of "Nightingale" courts and how they compare to the "Odeon" courts of Scotland.
In the interview Caroline Goodwin Q.C. highlights that approximately 30,000 Crown Court trials are waiting to be heard, adding "that's a huge number for a very much pared down and reduced pandemically affected Criminal Justice system to seek to manage". She argues that a key component in this backlog has been the significant reduction of Judge sitting days prior to the pandemic leading to a "perfect storm".
Caroline, who also sits as a Crown Court Recorder, gives examples of Crown Court cases not now being heard until the end of 2021 and in some cases, March 2022 which she describes as "an extraordinary and frankly unacceptable delay".
Speaking of Nightingale courts, Caroline also points to the selling off of Court properties over the last ten years, "the aggressive selling off of the Court estate has left us having to utilise hotel rooms". Caroline concludes "investment has to start somewhere and it has to start, unfortunately in this situation, in repairing the damage that's been done for many years."
The full interview with Joshua Rozenberg can be heard by BBC Live subscribers here.