HC Deb 03 February 1971 vol 810 cc395-6W
Mr. Elystan Morgan

asked the Attorney-General if, in deciding upon the central location of the superior criminal courts in England and Wales, he will so arrange the location of courts as to provide at least a third-tier court within a travelling distance of not less than two hours of any locality.

The Attorney-General

My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor, in reaching his provisional decisions on court locations, has paid the closest regard to the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Assizes and Quarter Sessions that a court should be available to most people within a reasonable travelling time from home. In the more remote parts of the country, however, this may not invariably mean that there will be a court within two hours' travelling time of every locality, as full account must also be taken of the need to concentrate most courts, and hence most judge power, in and near the major centres of population. A High Court or Circuit Judge may, however, sometimes visit a town which is not a regular court centre to meet the convenience of witnesses and others who live in an exceptionally remote area. Such visits must, however, be kept to a minimum if the defects of the present assize system are not to re-appear.