Would you step into Stratford if it was your workplace?
If Covid-19 is an airborne transmitted virus, why is Stratford Magistrates Court open?
How can hand sanitiser and taping off some chairs be enough when people who talk for a living are crammed into small rooms with no ventilation?
No doubt Her Majesty’s Court Service will say that they have dramatically reduced the number of cases being listed to reduce the number of people attending court at any one time.
The problem with that answer is that Stratford has always been insanely over-listed. From what I see, Stratford now has realistic listings – with two trials (per courtroom) in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Two trials in the morning still means three magistrates, one legal adviser, two counsel, two defendants and God knows how many witnesses traipsing through and talking in a small, non-ventilated courtroom.
Given that many magistrates trials are, “non-custody”, why can’t HMCTS make use of Stratford Magistrates’ Court wonderful and barely used outdoor car park? Why not make use of the airy Town Halls in Stratford and Stoke Newington?
While HMCTS have identified 10 “Nightingale Courts“, these are for Crown Court (jury) trials, and not for the likes of the overwhelming number Criminal court cases.
We are being asked to, “suck it up” to reduce the case backlog. Literally.
We’ve all known that airborne transmission is a likely risk factor since the end of May. And yet in July, Stratford still fails all the Three Cs below.
This seems to be most effective approach by Japan. pic.twitter.com/TNPGnCpu3S
— Agnes Ayton (@AgnesAyton) May 29, 2020