Squash courts

London courts are trying to avoid a pre-Olympics hearings squeeze

It looks like Stratford will not be the only place witnessing some races in July. There will be a summer rush to complete trials before the Olympic Games begin, with some courts set to operate restricted hours.

The London Games start on 27 July – a week before most civil courts wind down for the summer recess – and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) advice includes encouraging some venues located close to Olympic centres to “use telephone hearings as much as possible”.

Chambers managers are liaising with court listings staff to avoid a last-minute scramble to squeeze in cases.

The Royal Courts of Justice will aim to complete trials during the first week of the Games, before restricting its service to emergency applications on 30-31 July. Thereafter, the MoJ believes the normal summer recess period will reduce hearings to a “sustainable level”.

County courts at Bow and Woolwich will change their start and finish times, with Bow, closest to the Olympic stadium, using telephone hearings to cut down on attendance.

A spokesperson for HM Courts & Tribunals Service said: “We’re rescheduling listings to ensure that any displaced work is dealt with either before or in the weeks immediately after the Games.

“We’ve worked with police and other partners in developing our Olympic planning, and have considered how travel disruption might affect users getting to and from courts and tribunals.”

On your marks…