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Court reform

  • HMCTS are investing £1 billion in their six-year reform programme to modernise the courts and tribunals system. The programme aims to create services that are digital by default and design including digitising paper-based services, moving cases online, court closures, introducing virtual hearings, and centralising customer services.

    The Law Society agrees that a modernised court service and efficient use of technology would benefit all users. However, this must not come at the expense of justice. The system must be open, accessible and affordable. Moreover, those who use the system must be able to get independent legal advice and representation from qualified professionals at the points where they need it. To achieve this, we are engaging with HMCTS to ensure our views and the views of our members, and the needs of clients, are fully considered in the development of proposals and design of reformed services.

    Solicitors are integral in shaping the HMCTS programme which will fundamentally transform the role of a solicitor in any type of litigation - from corporate firms to high street firms - and we must ensure it works for them. To assist with this, we are working with our policy committees and the wider legal community to ensure we understand what aspects of the programme cause concern, so we can try to persuade HMCTS to address those concerns.

    To help you understand and adapt to the changes, whether welcome or unwelcome, we will keep you informed of developments, be a trusted source of insight and guidance, and notify you of upcoming HMCTS events including roadshows, workshops, online events and research sessions, which we encourage you to engage in.

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    Video hearings pilot to begin in Birmingham and Manchester

    HM Courts & Tribunals Service will be conducting a small-scale video testing pilot in Birmingham and Manchester civil justice centres.

    11 December 2018
    News

    HMCTS user needs workshop - scheduling and listing

    Are you actively involved in cases that require court appearances? HMCTS are holding a workshop to explore how to improve the scheduling and listing process.

    28 November 2018
    News

    Flexible operating hours to be piloted in civil and family courts

    The government has announced today that the Flexible Operating Hours pilot will commence in spring 2019.

    16 November 2018
    News

    Government gives beleaguered criminal legal aid services reprieve from additional working hours trial

    The Law Society has welcomed news that the MoJ has scaled down a pilot project to extend court opening hours.

    16 November 2018
    Press release

    A look at how the court closure programme is impacting court users

    In this podcast, Catherine Reed speaks to Dr Olumide Adisa and Sue James about the impact of the court closures by HMCTS.

    30 October 2018
    Audio

    Court reform programme: events

    Information about the series of events HMCTS is hosting to support the changes brought in by the HMCTS court reform programme.

    25 October 2018
    Advice

    Court reform

    Information and guidance to help you understand and adapt to the HMCTS reform programme to modernise the courts and tribunals system.

    18 October 2018
    Information

    Your views on video hearings are needed

    HMCTS are conducting research on video hearings and the legal professional user experience as part of the court modernisation programme.

    16 October 2018
    News

    Westminster weekly update: Liberal Democrat and Labour Conferences

    Party Conference season is well underway, with the Liberal Democrat and Labour Conferences taking place over the last two weeks, and the Conservative Conference currently happening in Birmingham.

    2 October 2018
    Blog

    Participate in HMCTS's free online event on video remand hearings

    HMCTS are hosting a free online event on video remand hearings from 13:00 to 14:00 on Thursday 27 September.

    13 September 2018
    News
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  • Contact us

    If you have any queries regarding the court reform programme or would like more information on member engagement, please contact Valerie Robertson or Emily Weidner.

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