On 8 February 2017, the HM Courts & Tribunals Service published a paper outlining how it plans to use a large-scale investment of around £1billion to implement a programme of changes to the justice system in order to improve services for all users.

The purpose behind the programme is to take advantage of the ever-developing world of technology in order to enable justice to be delivered in the most appropriate manner to a variety of different users which might, for example, be online rather than in person.

Key changes set out in the paper include:

  • Bringing digital technology to the civil and family courts and tribunals, including a new automated online system to handle the least serious cases.
  • Training and developing the staff behind the system and allowing users access to customer service representatives by telephone or online.
  • Developing a digital platform which will give users a single point of access to the entire court system and making better use of technology to allow users that access whenever and wherever they need it.
  • Reducing the number of court buildings across the country and improving those that remain whilst potentially opening them for longer or at weekends.
  • Developing an easy-to-use, streamlined system for probate and simplifying the process for divorce cases.
  • Reducing the number of IT platforms currently used by HMCTS in order to create fewer, more streamlined and manageable systems.
  • Creating a National Standard to make sure the delivery of justice is consistent across the country.

The full paper, “Justice matters” can be found here.