The City of London Corporation owns and provides three courts in the Square Mile: the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey), Mayor & City of London Court (county court), and the City of London Magistrates’ Court.
All three buildings are increasingly tired and in need of a radical overhaul if they are to remain fit for purpose in the twenty-first century and all three present significant access issues for disabled court users.
Temple and Farringdon Together, recognising the importance of these facilities to stakeholders in our Ward, welcome the Corporation’s decision with HM Courts & Tribunals Service to invest around £30 million in refurbishing the Old Bailey, bringing its infrastructure up to modern standards.
The same now needs to happen with the county court and magistrates’ court, which require either significant spending on their current sites or a proposal to move them individually or together to a new location, possibly close to the Old Bailey where some facilities might be shared. In any event, all three courts must be made fully inclusive to all who need to gain access to them.
Temple and Farringdon Together‘s Edward Lord, who sits as a Justice of the Peace at the City Magistrates’ Court and hearing appeals at the Old Bailey, commented:
“The City’s Courts are in a fairly dismal state and need a great deal of care and attention to bring them back up to the quality that the judiciary, advocates, staff, and other court users expect, especially of the nation’s premier criminal court.
We are delighted that the City is addressing some of the challenges at the Old Bailey and will be lobbying hard to see improvements at the other two courts, or possibly even a move to new state of the art premises.”