Magistrates’ Courts given more power to tackle backlog
Magistrates’ Courts given more power to tackle backlog

Magistrates’ Courts given more power to tackle backlog

The Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has confirmed that the maximum prison sentence that can be handed down in magistrates’ courts in England and Wales will increase from six months to 12 months. The change will allow cases such as fraud, theft and assault to be sentenced in magistrates courts where they are heard, rather than being referred to the Crown Court. The move, which will provide nearly 2,000 extra days of Crown Court time each year, is in response to backlogs arising during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.