Guildford MP Angela Richardson met with the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland today to hear from judiciary and court staff about the challenges they face during COVID recovery.
When the country went into lockdown, the court system had to find new ways of dealing with both criminal and civil cases that helped stop the spread of the virus and maintained government guidelines.
The result has been an extraordinary overhaul of the way cases are heard, including remote presentation of cases by the Crown Prosecution Service and remote presence in court by the Probation Service.
For Crown Court trials, the challenges of accommodating a jury were particularly tricky with 12 people all from different households needing to be kept socially distanced from each other.
The solutions have been technology-led, with a new Common Platform across the courts system that allows more joined-up and remote working from the police, CPS and courts.
Guildford Crown Court was the first to trial a portacabin system, where juries are kept separate from the courtroom, listening remotely to the trial and supported by resources to keep their work COVID-secure.
Angela and the Lord Chancellor toured these new arrangements and met with judiciary involved in working with them.
"This was a really interesting visit," said Angela. "I learned a huge amount about the courts and the justice system, not only about COVID but also its role in society with family cases. I want to thank all the court staff at Guildford; justice is a cornerstone of our society and your hard work and dedication have allowed it to continue in these testing times."