For the last year it has been the NHS and schools which have taken the headlines of the pandemic - and quite rightly so, these are the brave souls who are dealing with this mess head on. However the justice system has had little attention paid to it until very recently.
A number of recent articles have highlighted the sheer fragility of a system that has been creaking for years and years.
How can it be that a court is told 3 days after a hearing that a defendant had tested positive beforehand? Allowing the person to be transported on a prison van? Be escorted by court staff? Be allowed to meet with his legal advisors in a less than 2 metre square cell? It is no wonder that solicitors, barristers, judges and court staff are testing positive left right and centre.
We are now having very basic, short trials that may last no longer than a day or two being listed for 2022 and I fear that the longer cases may not get a listing until 2023.
According to this article 15% of the current prison population are on remand, ie they are in prison until the day of their trial. That is a very worrying statistic.
Four criminal justice watchdogs for England and Wales have warned they have "grave concerns" about the impact of court backlogs caused by the pandemic.