Proposals to close Wandsworth County Court would have a disastrous impact reaching across several London boroughs, lawyers have warned.
“Shoreditch, Kingston, and Clerkenwell county courts would be expected to pick up the work from Wandsworth if it closes, but they are already pushed to capacity,” warned solicitor Jon Nicholson, London co-ordinator for APIL - a national not-for-profit group which represents injured people.
A Ministry of Justice consultation on closing Wandsworth County Court finishes at the end of March.
“We agree with the Ministry of Justice that the facilities at Wandsworth are outdated and need significant improvement. But giving up and closing the court altogether will not solve the problem of where people will go instead. There are already delays in cases at the other courts, hearings not being listed, and fiascos with communication,” he explained.
“There are not enough resources to deal with the current case load. They cannot possibly take on extra work without risking some grave failures in administering justice,” he went on.
“What is more, injured people are already vulnerable. The added uncertainty of delays in having their case heard and the extra travel across London, which should not be underestimated, compounds the ordeal,” said Mr Nicholson.