Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:51 pm on 16th July 2019.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 2:51 pm, 16th July 2019

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

It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to move the Second Reading motion for this Bill. The Bill has already been considered in detail in the other place, and it follows the Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Act 2018—also known as CATJAFS; we now have CATOP, the Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill. This enabling measure is another important step in the transformation of our justice system.

Our judiciary, together with our courts and tribunals, is rightly regarded as among the finest in the world. To maintain and build on that reputation, it is critical that we position ourselves at the forefront of using new technology to improve the ease with which people can access justice. However, it is also clear that the modernisation of our court system must have ordinary court users at its heart. People need our new digital services to be accessible, understandable and easy to use, and that is what the Bill seeks to facilitate.

Of course, the Bill is only a part of our overall ambition. In total we are investing more than £1 billion in transforming Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, making the justice system simpler to access, more convenient to use and more efficient to run. Our court reform programme will make the most of new opportunities that innovations in technology offer to revolutionise how we deliver justice.