HMCTS monthly bulletin – February 2019

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Issue 10 | February 2019

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Image of a corridor in our new CTSC in Stoke-on-Trent

Court users to benefit from new service centres

People across the country will benefit from support services provided by two new Courts & Tribunals Service Centres opening today in Stoke and Birmingham. The centres are part of £1bn court reform programme to improve the criminal justice system.


Find out more about the two centres in our press release>>

IT issues across the Ministry of Justice: latest update 

IT network access has now been restored. Towards the end of January we experienced major IT network issues. We apologise to those who were affected.


Visit GOV.UK for the full news story>>

Improving wifi in our criminal courts

We are rolling out more reliable wifi across our criminal courts. We have prioritised Crown and Combined courts and have listed where we now have full building coverage, improved bandwidth, and a resilient design in 31 criminal courts.

See the full list in the news story>>

Probate applications made simpler and easier with online service

People applying for probate can now do so from the comfort of their own home, thanks to the expansion of an online service. The service enables people to apply, pay and swear a statement of truth online.


Read more about the new service in the press release>>

Other HMCTS/MOJ news

Government publishes landmark domestic abuse bill

The government has unveiled the most comprehensive package ever to tackle domestic abuse in its draft Domestic Abuse Bill, published alongside its response to last year’s domestic abuse consultation. The Home Office has also published a report into the economic and social cost of domestic abuse, which reveals the crime cost England and Wales £66 billion in 2016 to 2017.


See the full press release>>

Find out more about the draft bill and the Government's consultation response>>

Read the full Home Office report>>

Find out more in Justice Secretary David Gauke's speech to the Women's Public Aid Policy Conference>>

Jurisdictional responses to the 'Judicial Way of Working' exercise

Publication of the responses to a wide-ranging exercise to gather the view of judges, panel members and magistrates on aspects of the HMCTS proposals which underline the modernisation and reform programme of our courts and tribunals.


Read the responses, summarised in four documents relating to Crime, Civil, Family and Tribunals>>

Justice committee launches inquiry into HMCTS reform programme

The Justice Committee has launched an inquiry into the access to justice implications of the programme of reforms underway in HMCTS, including the increasing use of digital and video technology and the closures of courts and tribunal hearing centres. The Committee is interested in evidence of the effects on access to justice, as well as the management of the reform process, and has invited written submissions by 11 March 2019.


Find out more about the inquiry>>

Response to Public Accounts Committee: Transforming courts and tribunals

We have published our outstanding responses to the five PAC recommendations (the stakeholder engagement plans were published in November 2018). The documents include: an updated timetable for delivery; what the changes will mean in practice for all users; the approach to identifying and evaluating the impact of the changes on peoples’ access to, and fairness of the justice system; and the likely financial implications of the reforms on the wider justice system.


Read the responses in full on GOV.UK>>

Summary of crime reform event held on 24 January 2019

Presentations and recordings of the event hosted at Bristol Magistrates’ Court are available now on GOV.UK. The event showcased how the reformed crime area will support digital working throughout the criminal courts, enabling all participants in the criminal justice system to work from the same information to reduce duplication of effort, and introduce more consistent working practises.


Find out more about the event>>

Round up of other news

MOJ ranked 12th in Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and HMCTS staff member wins award

The MoJ has moved up one place to be ranked 12th in the annual list of Top 100 employers for LGBTQI inclusion - the highest ranking ministerial department. Bi Role Model of the Year 2019 was awarded to Hafsa Qureshi, who works in recruitment support for HMCTS in Birmingham.


Find out more about this prestigious Stonewall award>>

Find out more about the bi role model award>>

Lord Chancellor welcomes promotion of new skills

Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of 108 new Queen's Counsel, awarded to those who have demonstrated particular skill and expertise in the conduct of advocacy.


See the full list of new appointments>>

Five new appointments to the Civil Justice Council

The Secretary of State for Justice has announced the appointment of 5 new members to the Civil Justice Council (CJC) for a period of 3 years from 1 January 2019.


Find out more details in the news story>>

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