Westminster Legal Policy Forum

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Court modernisation in England and Wales - policy, priorities and next steps, technology, innovation and improving processes, learning from best practice, and supporting access to justice

May 2023

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference brought together policymakers and stakeholders to discuss next steps for court modernisation in England and Wales, with the HMCTS Reform Programme due to conclude this year.

It was a timely opportunity to hear from Nick Goodwin, Chief Executive, HMCTS, on the progress of reforms, key projects, and plans for the workforce and court estate going forward.

We are also very pleased to hane been able to include keynote sessions with Lord Briggs, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and author of the 2016 Civil Courts Structure Review; Lord Justice Birss, Deputy Head of Civil Justice; Jenny George, Director, Justice Value-For-Money, National Audit Office; and Farah Ziaulla, Director of Access to Justice Policy, Ministry of Justice.

Delegates examined reforms to case management and decision-making in the criminal and civil courts, considering priorities for balancing efficiency with fairness, and leveraging technology.

Further sessions focused on access to justice, expanding court capacity, including preventing physical and digital exclusion, and developing user-friendly services.

Delegates also explored key factors for successful court reform, assessing current models of governance, issues for data collection and use, and what can be learned from international examples.

Overall, the agenda included areas for discussion on:

  • court modernisation in England and Wales: governance, strategy and funding models - improving data collection and use - learning from international best practice
  • criminal courts: assessing rollout of Common Platform and Single Justice Procedure - listening to concerns from the court workforce and users - improving case management processes
  • civil justice: reviewing the Online Civil Money Claims project - expanding use of online dispute resolution - developing specialist tracks and methods based on the type of case
  • technology and automation: options for expansion - embedding principles of justice into technology - improving access to justice - tackling digital exclusion - strengthening user voice
  • HMCTS Reform Programme: recovery progress - next steps for the court workforce and estate
  • next steps for policy - expanding court capacity - improving access to justice

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from CPS; DBT; DfE; DVSA; GLD; HMCTS; HMRC; Home Office; IPO; MoJ; NAO; Courts Service of Ireland; and the Welsh Government.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materialfs, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda