Judicial review over Chichester court closures could be called

Chichester district law society is considering a judicial review of the government's decision to close the city's courts.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 12:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:30 pm
Green councillor Sarah Sharp is helping to organise a public protest outside Chichester's courts on Saturday, March 12. ks1600055-3 SUS-160103-183910008

Residents are also being urged to take part in a protest outside the courts on Saturday, March 12, to show support for keeping the county’s only crown court, along with the county and magistrates’ court.

Chichester district law society (CDLS) has joined forced with Worthing’s law society to oppose the closure, which would see magistrates’ and family cases moved to Worthing.

Sara-Jayne Fildes said: “Chichester district law society is considering a judicial review on the decision made by the government and we are now looking at preparing a letter before action.

“We have the support of Worthing district law society, with Worthing hugely impacted by the extra workload and unacceptable waiting times that will follow.

“We want the government to take a closer look at the impact of closing Chichester’s courts, which have existed since 1847, on those who use them and what it will mean for other courts, because nothing has been done to assess how they will cope.

She added: “We want as many people as possible to come along on March 12 to show support and hopefully prevent the closure.”

Chichester’s courts are among 86 closures across England and Wales announced last month.

Chichester’s magistrates’ court is set to go at the end of this year, with the combined (crown and county) to follow early next year.

Green city councillor Sarah Sharp said: “Before today I had never stepped foot in a court, but the point is you never know when you might have to, either as a witness or a victim.

“Everybody knows they need the hospital but we need our courts as well, and what we need is the same type of action as we had to save St Richard’s to keep our courts.

“It’s an onslaught on our public services.”

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