Extended timetable for court reform

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has listened to feedback from our members and extended its timeline for court reform.
Composite image of man working on laptop with illustrations of screens showing scales of justice, court room, documents, and note taking

It’s vital that reforms are properly tested before they’re rolled out.

Trying to change too much, too quickly has undermined confidence at times, HMCTS has admitted, and hopes the revised schedule will allow more preparation time for remaining reforms.

Originally planned to finish in 2022, the project will now run until March 2024.

“We are reassured to see HMCTS has listened to our and other stakeholders’ concerns in their work to modernise and redesign court services,” Law Society president Lubna Shuja said.

In March 2023, we published research on the state of the courts, based on member feedback, and our five-point plan on how to resolve the current backlogs.

Read the government’s interim evaluation report

Project timelines

Responding to feedback, HMCTS has reviewed what it can realistically achieve and by when, allowing more time for testing certain projects and putting others on hold for now.

Criminal: what’s coming up

The Common Platform is live in 76% of criminal courts.

HMCTS plans to introduce it into remaining Crown and magistrates’ courts by summer 2023.

It will further develop the Common Platform so the system can process all case types. This will reduce the need for dual systems which are complicating cases in magistrates’ courts.

Early adopter courts will have longer to test the following before they’re integrated into the platform:

  • new scheduling and listing tool – List Assist
  • enhanced case progression

Civil: what’s coming up

HMCTS plans to implement all remaining civil, family and tribunal services by March 2024.

During 2023, it plans to:

  • deliver remaining services in online civil money claims, civil enforcement, bulk claims and damages
  • reform tribunals for employment, immigration and social security and child support
  • integrate its new scheduling and listing tool with each of the reformed civil, family and tribunal case management systems
  • continue to develop the Video Hearing Service

The following projects are paused:

  • digital reform work on adoption and possession
  • work on Special Tribunals (except Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal)

Our work

Our president, Lubna Shuja, meets regularly with Nick Goodwin, CEO of HMCTS, to raise your feedback.

We’ll continue to monitor the progress of reforms and encourage HMCTS to collect robust data and feedback from court users.

If you have questions or concerns that you’d like us to raise, email hmctscourtreform@lawsociety.org.uk.

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