Day to day data on remote hearings in the family courts – Transparency Project

‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service have recently published statistics about the number of hearings conducted remotely, ie by audio, video or on paper, compared with physical in-person hearings, over the course of the coronavirus lockdown. The statistics cover civil and criminal cases as well as family law cases, but it is possible to extract from them a picture of how the family justice system, in particular, has responded.’

Full Story

Transparency Project, 4th June 2021

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

HMCTS rolls out on-site rapid testing at four more courts – Local Government Lawyer

Posted March 24th, 2021 in coronavirus, courts, HM Courts Service, news by sally

‘HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) will from this week offer voluntary on-site rapid testing at four courts to people who attend scheduled hearings and are not showing symptoms of COVID-19.’

Full Story

Local Government Lawyer, 23rd March 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Criminals escaping justice as victims drop court cases due to delays, watchdog warns – The Independent

‘Rapists and other serious criminals are walking free because victims are dropping court cases because of delays, a watchdog has warned.’

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The Independent, 2nd March 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Lack of data leaves courts “flying blind” on impact of Covid, MPs told – Legal Futures

Posted January 28th, 2021 in coronavirus, courts, HM Courts Service, news, statistics by sally

‘The courts system is failing to collect vital information about the performance of judges and trials during the Covid-19 pandemic, an expert has told Parliament.’

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Legal Futures, 28th January 2021

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Court and tribunal buildings are safe, insists acting chief executive of HMCTS – Local Government Lawyer

Posted January 20th, 2021 in coronavirus, courts, health & safety, HM Courts Service, news, tribunals by sally

‘Buildings operated by HM Courts and Tribunals Service are safe for those that need to use them, the organisation’s acting chief executive has insisted.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 19th January 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Covid leading to four-year waits for England and Wales court trials – The Guardian

‘Defendants, victims including teenagers, and witnesses are having to wait up to four years from the time of an alleged offence to the case reaching crown court trial because of delays caused mainly by Covid.’

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The Guardian, 10th January 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Bar instructs lawyers to fight Covid-19 operating hours plan – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The criminal bar has instructed heavyweight law firm Mishcon de Reya to help it fight controversial proposals to extend Covid-19 operating hours to more courts. HM Courts & Tribunals Service is considering rolling out the model from January. A rapid consultation on the proposals closed yesterday.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 15th December 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Criminal barristers ‘will take action’ over Covid operating hours – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The criminal bar has accused the government of breaching the Equality Act 2010 by proposing to roll out extended operating hours in Crown courts without “proper assessment”’.

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Law Society's Gazette, 1st December 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Youth court closures in England and Wales due to Covid ‘have almost doubled backlog’ – The Guardian

‘The temporary closure of youth courts due to Covid-19 has almost doubled the backlog of cases in some areas of England and Wales, increasing anguish for traumatised victims and creating more uncertainty for accused children, inspectors have found.’

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The Guardian, 20th November 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Civil court recovery: More in-person hearings and longer hours – Litigation Futures

‘Up to two-thirds of civil hearings will take place face-to-face over the coming months as the caseload increases, with longer operating hours an option for courts if needed.’

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Litigation Futures, 10th November 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Virus backlogs must not become “new normal”, says Lord Chief – Legal Futures

‘The Lord Chief Justice told MPs yesterday that he is “extremely concerned” that the backlogs that have grown across the justice system since March should not be “viewed by anybody as the new normal”.’

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Legal Futures, 11th November 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Court reforms data collection progress “disappointing” – Legal Futures

Posted October 20th, 2020 in civil justice, courts, criminal justice, equality, HM Courts Service, news by sally

‘The government’s £1bn court reforms have had a “disappointingly slow” start in collecting the information required to ensure the justice system is fair, according to researchers.’

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Legal Futures, 20th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Society alarmed by Covid-19 exemption for lawyers – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The Law Society has raised concerns about latest coronavirus regulations which allow lawyers to break self-isolation rules.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 2nd October 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Investigation launched after black barrister mistaken for defendant – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted September 24th, 2020 in barristers, courts, diversity, HM Courts Service, minorities, news by sally

‘The chief executive of HM Courts & Tribunals Service has begun an urgent investigation into how a black barrister was repeatedly mistaken for a defendant in court yesterday.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 24th September 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Has the revolution happened? Can we ever go back? – Transparency Project

‘The Lord Chief Justice called it “the biggest pilot project that the justice system has ever seen” and said “there will be no going back to February 2020”. Remote court hearings would have come sooner or later, but thanks to Covid-19 they came at us fast, in March 2020, and it looks like they’re here to stay. Ironically, they were one of the things the massive £1bn court modernisation programme was supposed to have developed, but when it came to the crunch HMCTS wasn’t quite ready so there was “the most extraordinary scramble”, said Professor Hazel Genn, to find solutions that worked.’

Full Story

Transparency Project, 25th August 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

“Our goodwill has run dry” – hundreds to refuse out-of-hours hearings – Legal Futures

‘Hundreds of crime lawyers have issued public refusals to attend hearings in evenings or at weekends as new figures show that backlogs in courts and tribunals were growing even before the coronavirus.’

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Legal Futures, 24th July 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

New video platform to be rolled out across civil courts – Litigation Futures

‘The new video platform enabling more remote cases to be heard in the criminal courts will rolled out to the civil courts over the coming months, the Ministry of Justice confirmed yesterday.’

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Litigation Futures, 2nd July 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Coronavirus recovery in Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service – Ministry of Justice

‘The Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland has today (1 July 2020) outlined a ‘renewal for justice’ as courts harness increased investment, improved technology and a range of emergency measures to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.’

Full press release

Ministry of Justice, 1st July 2020

Source: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice

EHRC urges compulsory disability training for lawyers – Legal Futures

‘Disability awareness should be a professional requirement, and a mandatory element of criminal lawyers’ CPD, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has recommended.’

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Legal Futures, 15th June 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Transparency and risk assessments : A Covid-Catch 22 – Transparency Project

Posted May 21st, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, health & safety, HM Courts Service, news by sally

‘It is encouraging that HMCTS (Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service has published their organisational risk assessment, dealing with the broad approach to the assessment of risk around the attendance of public and professionals at court hearings during the Covid-19 outbreak. It is for others to comment on whether the apparent assumption that adherence to a two metre social distancing rule within court buildings will in fact be safe, though we note that some materials suggest that spending long periods of time in a confined room, especially an air conditioned one, is unlikely to be risk free. People can however, make up their own minds about that assessment and whether or not it is wise for them to attend court if not essential.’

Full Story

Transparency Project, 20th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk