Responding to the report, Susan Acland-Hood, the CEO of HM Courts & Tribunals Service said:
We welcome today’s report. It reflects the ambitious and challenging nature of the programme to modernise our courts and tribunals but recognises the progress being made.
We also recognise the need to redouble our efforts to listen to and engage with all those who work within the justice system. The committee acknowledges improvements in this area but rightly says there is more to do to win hearts and minds.
By re-designing the justice system around those who use it we are making it more accessible to all. More than 250,000 members of the public have used our new online services since last year with over 80% satisfied.
Many of those users have told us that such services – like the new online Civil Money Claims service that has now received more than 100,000 claims – have given them access to justice not previously available.
Improving access to justice is at the heart of our programme and we will continue to prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable as it progresses. Together with the Ministry of Justice and the senior judiciary, we will respond in detail to the committee’s recommendations in due course.
Divorce Service User:
The service was a lot easier because I use a wheelchair and didn’t have to go out; I also found it very easy as an autistic person to get support from the team.
A partner at a firm representing a woman whose injunction application was heard at a Fully Video Hearing:
Domestic abuse clients’ lives have been turned upside down they often have multiple meetings and commitments to attend such as police interviews, meeting social workers and housing as well as obtaining court orders; video hearings are more respectful of that situation than having to travel to court and sit and wait for a hearing all day.
Online Civil Money Claims User:
This service should be really sought after as it’s simple and effective. The defendant was shocked to receive the claim as soon as I completed it. I really can’t stress out how well it worked and the claim I opened on Monday was settled on a Thursday by the defendant.