The Ministry of Justice has announced that HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) will deliver a programme of reform of courts and tribunals. This is expected to deliver over GBP 100 million per year in savings by 2019. The reform programme will be enabled by investment of approximately GBP 75 million per year between 2015 and 2019 with a view to deliver in modernisation of technology, electronic case management, an online self-service system for court users (including practitioners) to complete court and tribunal forms and pay fees digitally, or to start claims for debt repayment, personal injury or housing disputes. It will also deliver videolinks and wifi for practitioners and digital presentation of documentation in courts will be more readily available and used more regularly.
It is intended that the programme will include modernisation of court buildings and facilities, better access for those with disabilities, more effective use of courtrooms so that there is no delay to cases scheduled to be heard even if hearings overrun, upgraded facilities for victims and witnesses and a refurbishment of advocates’ rooms. These measures are intended to improve the efficiency and efficacy of the courts and maintain the UK’s competitiveness as a legal services hub.