Courts: Closures

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 2nd December 2015.

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Photo of David Anderson David Anderson Labour, Blaydon

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effects of court closures between 2010 and 2015 on access to justice.

Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Effective access to justice has been maintained between 2010 and 2015. Access to justice is not just about proximity to a court.

We have secured over £700m of funding to invest in our courts and tribunals. We have worked closely with the senior judiciary to develop a plan for investing this in reforming the courts and tribunals so they can deliver swifter, fairer justice at a lower cost. This will include digitisation and modernisation of our IT infrastructure. This will mean court users can attend hearings remotely, and not be inconvenienced by having to take a day off work to come to court. It will also mean victims of crime can give evidence from somewhere they feel safe.

We are committed to providing alternative ways for users to access our services, including the use of other civic buildings and extending video conferencing facilities.

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