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Court reform

  • HMCTS are investing £1 billion in their seven-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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    Law Society challenges HMCTS on delays to the probate service

    We challenged HMCTS to explain the ongoing delays to the probate service and provide reassurances of the steps being taken to address the problems.

    17 May 2019

    Criminal justice roadshows 2019

    We are travelling the country collecting your views to inform our engagement with the government's criminal justice reform programme.

    9 May 2019

    Campaigns discussed at justice oral questions

    Our criminal justice and early advice campaigns were raised with the lord chancellor and his ministerial team during justice oral questions.

    25 April 2019

    Online probate system - cause for grave concern?

    We speak to Ian Bond, head of trusts and estates at Talbots Law, about the new online probate service and what it means for you.

    27 March 2019

    Take part in HMCTS' rescheduled online family reform event

    HMCTS is hosting an online event on family reform on Tuesday 2 April from 1pm to 2pm. Attend to see how reform will affect your practice.

    25 March 2019

    Future of Law lecture - the future of justice and the justice system

    Carol Storer reports on the Law Society's Future of Law lecture delivered by Lucy Frazer QC MP on 26 February 2019.

    8 March 2019

    HMCTS announces court reform extension

    HM Courts and Tribunals Service has announced a one-year extension of its court reform programme.

    7 March 2019

    HMCTS civil reform event - Manchester

    HMCTS is hosting a face-to-face event on the civil side of the court reform programme in Manchester on Monday 11 March.

    5 March 2019

    Grant of probate certificate changes

    HMCTS will begin issuing the new-style grant of probate certificates from Monday 4 March. Here's what you need to know.

    1 March 2019

    Lucy Frazer QC MP on the future of justice and the justice system

    Justice minister Lucy Frazer QC MP shares her thoughts on what the future holds for the justice system and what this means for the legal profession.

    28 February 2019
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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 Emily Weidner.

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