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Calls to extend court opening hours

Calls to extend court opening hours

The opening hours of magistrates' courts should be extended, according to justice minister Nick Herbert.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, the Conservative politician indicated that courts could be made to stay open at the weekend and during the evening.

He said that the extended court opening times which were introduced after the August riots offered efficiency benefits.

"We need to learn from the response to the riots, where cases took days or even hours rather than the usual weeks or months," he explained to the newspaper.

Mr Herbert added: "We saw courts sit through the night and the Magistrates' Association has pointed out that many of its lay members might prefer to work in the evenings or at weekends. Swift justice is currently the exception but it should be the rule."

Lessons learned from the riots are now being reviewed, according to an HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesman.

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