Fewer hearings for fast justice

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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THE court system on the Fylde coast is to be sped up and made more efficient.

Committal hearings – a procedural part of the court process, used to transfer a case from magistrates courts, where lower level crimes are dealt with, to crown courts, which handles the most serious offences – will be scrapped.

Damian Green, criminal justice minister.

Damian Green, criminal justice minister.

There are 29 areas across the country where committal hearings will be abolished from this week. They were already scrapped in four areas in June and will phased out nationally over the next year.

Cases will now be sent to the crown court as soon it is clear the matter is serious enough, without the need for a separate committal hearing.

The move means nationally around 60,000 fewer hearings will be needed each year and is the latest stage in a series of moves to make the justice system swifter.

Damian Green, criminal justice minister, said: “Abolishing committal hearings is another one of the steps we are taking to make justice swift and sure and to ensure our courts run efficiently and effectively for victims, witness and taxpayers whose money funds them.”