Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:34 pm on 27th November 2018.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 1:34 pm, 27th November 2018

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

It is a great pleasure to move the Second Reading motion. It is possible that in Westminster at the moment other matters are catching Members’ attention and that the focus of the House has not been sufficiently on the Bill. But I am delighted to have the opportunity to move the motion. The Bill has already been considered in the other place and takes an important step forward for our courts system.

Our judiciary, together with our courts and tribunal service, are rightly regarded as among the finest and most independent in the world. However, the way our courts and tribunals work cannot stand still. They must be able to meet the demands of delivering modern-day justice, meet the needs of the society they serve, and administer justice in the most effective and efficient way.

The justice system must work for all those who use it, as well as for the judges and legal professionals who work in it. That means realising the huge potential of new technology and the law tech revolution to improve people’s experience of and access to the justice system and open up new routes to justice. It is certainly my determination that the UK should be seen as being at the forefront of adopting new technology, whether in our courts and tribunal system, which is the issue before us today, or more widely, with legal professionals making use of technology. That is one of the reasons that we have instituted a law tech committee, led by Christina Blacklaws of the Law Society, which is designed to take us forward in that area. It is an important part of what we need to do.