When it became known that the Ministry of Justice would be basing one of its 10 temporary “Nightingale” at its own headquarters in central London, there was some confusion about where in the fortress-like building it would be located.
The Mail on Sunday reported on 12 July that the court would be on the 10th floor, currently occupied by 75 press officers.
This seemed unlikely. Courts are normally open to the public and the 10th floor, like all the other floors, is not accessible to unaccompanied visitors.
But there is one room on the ground floor that was specially designed for easy access. The architects provided a raised platform at the far end and there was plenty of room for chairs and tables.
It was designed as a press briefing room in the days when the lord chancellor used to hold regular press conferences for visiting journalists. But by the time the Ministry of Justice moved into 102 Petty France, that quaint custom had ended. The press briefing room has hardly ever been used for its intended purpose.
Now that it has become a court, perhaps we’ll get to to see it again.