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

We are cheerfully straying far and wide in this Second Reading debate, but I am more than happy to confirm that any innovation in online procedures does not in any way invalidate the concerns that many have about the state of our court estate. My hon. Friend will know that we are spending an extra £50 million this year on renovating courts. There is much more to do, and I am keen to see all buckets removed as soon as possible from the court system. I cannot promise that the online procedure rule committee is the remedy for that, but I assure her that I am working on it.

The new rule committee will be judicially chaired and comprised of three members of the judiciary, a member of the legal profession and two additional members, one of whom has experience of the lay advice sector and the other from IT design. While the new committee will be smaller than existing rule committees, the Bill provides the Minister with the power to amend the committee’s membership so that it has the flexibility to respond to changes in subject matter and technology.