To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 6 June 2018 to Question 148950 on Courts: ICT, how many (a) victims and (b) witnesses the Government plans to consult with when undertaking its research into the effect of its digital courts reform programme on victims and witnesses.
Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has in place an established Victim and Witness Engagement Group which meets every six weeks and includes membership from organisations which directly represent the Victim and Witness community. The group’s main role is to collaborate with HMCTS to review aspects of proposed Court reform, ensuring that HMCTS both hears and integrates the voice of Victims and Witnesses within reformed services, promoting a service that is inclusive, user-focused, and which does not discriminate against the vulnerable or disadvantaged.
In addition, the HMCTS Reform Programme is developing plans for primary research with victims and witnesses. This will include qualitative research interviews - with appropriate safeguards - and will provide insight into victim and witness experience in order to inform the design of future services. Because this work is still being planned, HMCTS is not, at this stage, able to say how many victims and witnesses will be engaged, or to set out the cost of the research. HMCTS will also draw on existing published quantitative and qualitative research on victims and witnesses in its designing services.