Backlog of Crown court cases starts to fall

updated on 14 June 2021

The backlog of Crown court cases – which increased by nearly 50% during the pandemic – has now started to fall.

While major challenges remain, the case backlog fell by around 200 cases a week during May to 57,503 outstanding cases, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures.  

Meanwhile, magistrates’ court cases continue to fall from the peak in July 2020 (525,000), with 453,482 cases currently outstanding. A spokesperson for the MoJ praised the dedication of “staff and professionals” in ensuring that “justice continued to be delivered for victims”.

The MoJ spokesperson said: “Thanks to their efforts we are seeing positive results – outstanding cases in the Crown court are beginning to drop and have fallen by around 70,000 in the magistrates’ court since last summer. Major challenges remain which is why we are investing hundreds of millions to further increase capacity, deliver swifter justice and support victims.”