Camberwell Magistrates’ has been earmarked for closure, as shown by a new Department of Justice consultation.
The report with the consultation states that it forms part of the government’s plan to shut 86 courts across England and Wales, in a bid to “remove some of the least used and most inefficient buildings from the court estate”.
The department also hopes to demolish Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court, which would bring the total number of these courts in London down to eighteen from 23, and from eighteen family and civil courts in London to sixteen.
However, it adds that the department would splash £700m so it can “digitise and streamline” court and tribunal services.
This would be to help the surviving courts “absorb” and “consolidate” the flow of criminal cases.
The report said: “We would expect the closures to take place within the lifetime of this Parliament (i.e. by 2020). We expect significant change to the workloads of our courts over that period as a result of the changes introduced by court and tribunal reform.”
The consultation began on September 15 and finishes October 27, in the hope of hearing the views of “the judiciary, magistracy, staff, criminal justice practitioners and elected representatives”.
The News reported in June that Southwark Crown Court was on the Department of Justice’s hit list of venues it would like to close. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice refused to deny this was the case.
Residents can respond to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation by calling 020 3334 6361 or emailing email@example.com.