Predicted rise in court cases heard in Welsh language

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Image caption,
Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd

More court cases are expected to be heard in Welsh, according to The Lord Chief Justice's report.

There were 570 cases heard in Welsh in 2015-16, including one judicial review, and that figure is anticipated to rise to 600-700 by the end of this year.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd's annual report said there had been "increased awareness" on the impact of devolution in Wales.

The number of Welsh speaking judges has also risen.

A third of all circuit judges, a third of district judges and just under half of magistrates' courts district judges are now able to conduct cases in Welsh.

A Courts and Tribunals Judiciary spokesman said "processes have been adapted" to recruit judges to posts requiring Welsh language skills.

"These appointments allow Welsh to be used both in the formal setting of a courtroom and more generally in the administration of justice," they said.

Lord Thomas will retire from the judiciary in October, before taking up the the role of Aberystwyth University's new chancellor in January 2018.

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