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The latest radical building set to appear on Manchester’s increasingly upward skyline is the Manchester Civil Justice Centre at the Spinningfields business area. Due to open in early 2007, the current Courts of Justice are to be replaced by a £160m complex, comprising 47 courtrooms and state-of-the-art IT and videoconferencing facilities. Once complete, it will make Manchester the largest legal court centre outside London. But will the development create a more central central office for the lawyers and their clients north of, say, Birmingham or merely consolidate into Manchester the motley of cases currently being heard in and around the city, without any overall increase in capacity and quality?

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