Flexible court hours to be trialled in September
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Extended court sitting hours in the early mornings and evenings will be tested for the first time from 2 September, which marks the start of a six-month pilot scheme.
Them proposals will extend the traditional court timetable to include early (8:00am – 10:30am) and late sittings (4:30pm – 7:00pm). As the Law Gazette reports, the trial scheme is being rolled out to civil and family hearings at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre and civil hearings at Brentford County Court.
The scheme is intended to determine whether extended sittings improve the public’s access to justice and make more effective use of court buildings. Lawyers’ responses to the proposals vary – with some welcoming the increased flexibility but others expressing concerns that the plans will have a negative impact on their family lives.