The Law Society has issued a fresh warning about court safety after a London Crown court failed a Covid-19 inspection.
Law Society president David Greene said ‘immediate action’ – including possible closure – must be taken if a court is considered unsafe. Concerns have been raised by solicitors about a lack of mask wearing; increased footfall in courts; poor ventilation; and the frequency of cleaning.
Greene said: ‘We remain absolutely concerned about the dangers associated with the spread of coronavirus and the safety of everyone working in our courts. While we know that all those working at courts are achieving a great deal, solicitors continue to raise numerous concerns with us on the potential risks they face when attending court.’
He added: ‘The situation with Isleworth suggests that more needs to be done to keep the wheels of justice turning safely and we urge HMCTS even at this late hour to take steps to protect court users from this deadly illness.’
Isleworth Crown Court was inspected by the Health and Safe Executive in January, and was found to be falling short in some areas of Covid compliance.
HM Courts & Tribunals Service has repeatedly insisted that all of its courts are ‘Covid-secure’ and that there is no evidence of heightened transmission in its estate.