The Ministry of Justice has been accused of ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ as barristers voice their discontent at a controversial pilot scheme that will extend court hours.

As part of the government’s justice reform programme, plans were announced in March to introduce extra sittings at civil, crown, and magistrates’ courts to increase the number of cases heard each day.

The proposals would see magistrates’ courts begin sittings at 8:00am and finish around 8:30pm. HM Courts & Tribunal Service had expected to test early and night sittings this month.

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