Domestic abusers barred from cross-examining victims in family and civil courts – Ministry of Justice

‘Victims of domestic abuse can be spared from being cross-examined by their alleged attackers in family and civil courts under measures coming into force today (21 July 2022).’

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Ministry of Justice, 21st July 2022

Source: www.gov.uk

Public uncomfortable with tech firms’ use of court data – Legal Futures

‘Less than a fifth (18%) of the public are comfortable with the use of data from the courts by tech companies, a major study has found.’

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Legal Futures, 21st July 2022

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Media reporters’ Charter – open justice, but only for some – Transparency Project

Posted May 23rd, 2022 in codes of practice, courts, HM Courts Service, media, news by sally

‘A new “Reporters’ Charter” outlining the rights and responsibilities of court reporters has been launched to boost transparency in the justice system, according an announcement by HM Courts and Tribunals Service. The charter, part of the General guidance to staff on supporting media access to courts and tribunals, was developed by the Media Lawyers Association and HM Courts and Tribunals Service and unveiled at the Society of Editors Annual Conference on 11 May 2022.’

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Transparency Project, 22nd May 2022

Source: transparencyproject.org.uk

MPs lament “missed opportunities” of court reform programme – Legal Futures

‘The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) have “missed opportunities to swiftly deliver an ambitious court reform programme”, MPs on the justice select committee say today.’

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Legal Futures, 27th April 2022

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

NEWS ‘Defendants in the bath’: magistrates reveal remote-hearing concerns – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Three-quarters of magistrates do not want remote links to be used as extensively as they were during the pandemic, according to landmark research on their experiences in the criminal courts. After canvassing the views of 865 magistrates, a report published by the Magistrates Association, assisted by legal charity Transform Justice, concludes that audio and video links negatively impact communication and effective participation, particularly for vulnerable court users.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 12th April 2022

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Remote hearings: the HMCTS evaluation – Transparency Project

Posted January 5th, 2022 in consultations, coronavirus, HM Courts Service, news, remote hearings, statistics by sally

‘Last month HM Courts and Tribunals Service published their own research into user experiences of remote hearings: Evaluation of remote hearings during the COVID 19 pandemic. The report analyses responses to surveys conducted between May and October 2020 with public users of the justice system and in mid-2021 with professionals such as lawyers, judges and court staff.’

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Transparency Project, 4th January 2022

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

HMCTS: Public prefers remote hearings but professionals see declining respect – Legal Futures

Posted December 13th, 2021 in coronavirus, courts, HM Courts Service, news, remote hearings, statistics, trials by tracey

‘Public users of the courts generally prefer remote to in-person hearings, but they have led to declining levels of respect, formality and concentration, according to government research.’

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Legal Futures, 13th December 2021

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

England and Wales court backlog crisis ‘to go on for several years’ – The Guardian

‘The backlog of cases in criminal courts in England and Wales is likely to be a pervasive issue for several years, severely affecting victims, witnesses and defendants, the National Audit Office has said.’

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The Guardian, 22nd October 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

The online divorce and financial remedy service: How far have we come? And how far can we go? – Family Law

‘From 13 September 2021 it will be mandatory for any divorce petition being issued by a solicitor in England and Wales to be issued via the HMCTS online portal. Paper applications will no longer be permitted. The HMCTS online divorce and financial remedy portal has come a long way since its launch in May 2018 and this is yet another important development for the provision of digital solutions in divorce and financial remedy case.’

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Family Law, 17th September 2021

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Lawyers pledge to boycott extended court hours – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Almost 400 solicitors and barristers have signed an open letter to HM Courts & Tribunals Service, refusing to attend a ‘single court listing outside of regular court hours’. The Ministry of Justice responded today by denying the existence of any plan for weekend sittings.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 5th August 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Lawyers pledge to boycott extended court hours – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Almost 400 solicitors and barristers have signed an open letter to HM Courts & Tribunals Service, refusing to attend a ‘single court listing outside of regular court hours’. The Ministry of Justice responded today by denying the existence of any plan for weekend sittings.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 5th August 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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.’

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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.’

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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