More than 150,000 people benefit from online justice in 2018

  • Delivery of reform programme to modernise courts and tribunals underway
  • High satisfaction rates from people using the services
  • Includes divorce applications, money claims and online pleas

The online uptake follows the start of a £1bn investment from the government to bring new technology and modern ways of working to the justice system. This includes a new fully accessible online civil money claims service giving people the ability to make a claim online – with more than 39,000 claims made since its launch in March and satisfaction rates at 89% – and a new system for applying for divorce online, which has cut errors in application forms from 40% to less than 1%.

Public feedback is positive with 85% of people reporting they are happy with the new divorce service, 93% for probate and 89% for civil money claims.

The time taken to complete a divorce application has also reduced by more than half an hour on average.

Justice Minister, Lucy Frazer said:

These online services are already making a difference to people who use the justice system.

As we reach this milestone it’s encouraging to see people are reporting these services work well for them and are a better-fit around their busy lives.

The new services already delivered by HM Courts & Tribunals Service in 2018 include:

  • Divorce Online – more than 23,000 applications have been made since it was launched in April 2018
  • Civil Money Claims Online – more than 39,000 money claims have been made since its launch in March 2018, with the fastest claim being lodged and paid in under two hours
  • Probate Online – more than 7,500 applications have been made since July 2018
  • Submit Your Appeal Online – 3,300 online PIP appeals have been submitted since its launch in July 2018
  • Online pleas – more than 1,400 online pleas have been made within the Single Justice Procedure for Transport for London fare evasion cases since its launch in April 2018

In addition, during 2018 more than 81,000 online pleas have been made for low-level motoring offences via the Make a Plea service first introduced in 2014.

Online services do not replace existing paper-based applications, but provide a quicker, easier route for many people. Each are undergoing further development that will see new functions added to improve public access and efficiency.

The Reform programme has also already delivered:

  • A pilot of fully video hearings in tax tribunals to test the potential for roll-out where appropriate across the courts and tribunals system
  • The national implementation of a new in-court system to record the results of cases digitally and instantly
  • A pilot of a new digital system providing shared case information in criminal cases to the police, CPS, courts service and legal professionals.

Online court reform is an example of how digital transformation is making it quicker and easier for people to interact with government. By 2020, around 100 services will be available digitally.

This is one part of the SmarterGov campaign, which has been launched to drive innovation, savings and public service improvement across government and wider public sector.


  • People can make a plea in Welsh using the online platform
  • HMCTS is developing Welsh online language services and Welsh paper-based applications can continue to be used.

/Public Release. View in full here.