Following in the footsteps of Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, who delivered his ‘one nation justice policy’ speech in June 2015, Natalie Ceeney CBE of HM Courts and Tribunals spoke on 14 October 2015 about modernising the courts service. Utilising rapid advances in technology were (again) a clear theme in meeting the desire to radically improve the justice system. Ceeney spoke about the commitment at all levels of the justice system to drive real action and achieve efficiencies, not least to ensure an ability to compete internationally with the growing legal markets.

In the arena of civil courts, Ceeney said we need to learn from the ombudsman model, whereby huge numbers of relatively low value or low stakes cases are resolved simply, quickly and cheaply by avoiding hearings altogether. Securing investment is likely to be one of the MoJ’s top priorities in its November 2015 Spending Review.

In a related step, Lord Justice Briggs has been asked to carry out an urgent review of the structure of the courts. His interim report is due by the end of 2015.