Posted on 29th April 2021 at 15:50
Nightingale courts were first opened due to the back log of court cases caused by the pandemic. Delays occurred due to measures first put in place in the first lockdown when hearings were adjourned to a date further into the year.
Methods such as using teams/BT meet me were introduced to try and reduce this backlog, but this did not make a significant impact due to the number of back logged cases. This is when the nightingale courts were introduced. Some were in venues such as football clubs, libraries and theatres.
Now there have been talks to close 12 of those courts as early as June due to hire agreements expiring. On top of the expiring agreements there is also the issue of sites needing to go back to their original use due to the easement of lockdown rules.
There have also been talks as to whether the nightingale courts are still needed. The Law Society and the Bar Council have both stated that instead of decreasing the number of nightingale courts more are actually needed, especially with the number of the back log cases currently standing at 57,000.
The only thing we know as of now is that there is so much uncertainty surrounding these nightingale courts and only time will tell as to when they start to close or even increase in numbers.