Background to Courts Reform
In just a few years, HMCTS will transform the way justice is administered. We want every customer to feel they have been treated swiftly, fairly and with respect. To achieve this, we will use an investment of nearly £1bn to transform the settings where justice is delivered, to transform our technology and to transform our own skills and capabilities.
This is about more than simplifying processes. It’s about changing the way we think and feel about how we serve our customers, how we work with each other, and our own roles. By focusing our energy on providing a better customer experience and using technology to enable us to work better and smarter, we are going to build a modern system for administering justice which will benefit everyone who uses it, for generations to come.
What are we going to do?
Three principles will guide everything we are doing to modernise our courts and tribunals:
Just – Decisions and outcomes are fair, the judiciary are supported by processes that are modern, transparent and consistent, and like cases are treated alike. A strong judiciary and meritocratic legal professions draw on the widest available pool of talents, to maintain public confidence and strengthen the rule of law.
Proportionate – The cost, speed, complexity, and degree of adversarial protection make sense and are appropriate to the nature and value of the dispute at issue. An effective system will save people time and money, and shrink the impact of legal proceedings on their lives.
Accessible – The system is affordable, intelligible and available for use by all, convenient for those who cannot easily attend in person, and supportive of those not comfortable with the law or technology.
To create this system we need to do three things.
We need to get things out of the courtroom that don’t need to be there. Not everything needs to take place in a courtroom. Some are better handled online or over the phone or through video conferencing.
We must use the knowledge and expertise of HMCTS staff and the judiciary much more wisely. By freeing people from unnecessary processes and paperwork, and only applying the full force of judge and courtroom for those cases that really need it, we can provide a better service for everyone.
We must strip away unnecessary hearings, paper forms and duplication. Moving to digital working will make a significant difference, but we are not just going to digitise today’s processes. We are going to change many of our processes – and those of our delivery partners – altogether.
Featured image from gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hmcts-reform-roadshows