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Continue to modernise our courts

Last updated: 10:26am 31 January 2019

We will continue to modernise our courts, improving court buildings and facilities and making it easier for people to resolve disputes and secure justice.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.44

Our verdict

In 2016 the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals launched a court reform programme (HMCTS reform programme) intended to modernise and upgrade the justice system. As a result, you can now save time and money with online applications, claims and appeals.

As reported in the November 2018 newsletter on the reform process, in October 2018 a further £15 million was announced to spend on the maintenance and security of court buildings.

However, the reform also entails the closure of several buildings, and some people are reporting longer commutes to get to court. The plan has also come under the radar of the National Audit Office for implementation delays.

In January 2018, in response to a written question, Justice minister Lucy Frazer confirmed the government’s commitment to this model of court modernisation. In May 2018, an official press release presented the Courts and Tribunals Bill as the new legal basis for continuing this reform of the justice system. That gained Royal Assent in December 2018 so is now an Act of Parliament.

This policy is an extension of an initiative which was already in place, and the government is working to maintain it. We’re marking it as ‘done’, and it will stay that way unless it is reversed or scrapped, or the changes are collectively found to contradict the goal of “making it easier for people to resolve disputes and secure justice”.  Follow this policy for any updates.

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