HMCTS monthly bulletin - February 2022

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Keeping you updated with news about the reform programme

Issue 44  |  7 Feb 2022

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Making hearing lists more accessible

HMCTS is developing a new service to modernise and improve how court and tribunal users find hearing lists as part of its commitment to open justice.

News Headlines

HMCTS CEO sends letter of thanks

Kevin Sadler, Acting CEO for HMCTS sent an open letter of thanks to colleagues working in the justice system, for their continued dedication and professionalism.

New contracts awarded to support vulnerable court users

HMCTS has awarded contracts to a number of successful suppliers for the new Appointed Intermediary Service framework to standardise support for court users.

Magistrates' sentencing powers increased

The maximum 6-month prison sentence that can currently be handed out by magistrates is to be doubled to a year, to help tackle outstanding case levels.

Magistrate recruitment campaign launched

People from all walks of life are being encouraged to apply in a national campaign aiming to recruit 4,000 new magistrates.

Other News

We have published management information for November 2020 to November 2021 We use this information to understand workload volumes and timeliness.

We also published the final questions and answers from the 5th Annual Public User Engagement event around users’ inclusion, accessibility and support needs. 

Our Head of Legal Operations in Wales explains the safety measures in place in HMCTS buildings and how we use technology to work differently in the pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

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There will be no changes to the way our courts and tribunals operate following the removal of Plan B restrictions. We will continue to have the following in place:

  • Face coverings are required in the public and communal areas of our buildings, unless you are exempt
  • Screens or barriers are in place where people come into close proximity with others they do not normally meet
  • Regular rigorous cleaning regimes are in place, including touchpoint cleaning
  • Sanitising stations are located throughout our buildings
  • Technology is available to conduct hearings remotely, where a judge decides it is in the interests of justice to do so
  • We ask court users with any symptoms, a positive PCR or lateral flow test to stay away from our buildings
  • We manage any cases we identify quickly and robustly, and this includes notifying any close contacts
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