Courts: Monitoring

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what measures he has put in place to ensure independent monitoring of the court system.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

It is neither necessary or appropriate to have an independent monitor of our courts system. Judges are impartial and independent of government and public bodies. Any judgment is an absolute consequence of the process of the rule of law and must be respected as such. It is right that judicial decisions are accountable solely through appeal to a higher court. It is also possible for individual litigants to complain about the personal conduct of a judge during the conduct of a case to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO), whose statutory remit is to deal with complaints of misconduct. Monthly Management Information provides performance information on all courts including timeliness of hearings and disposals. This information is visible to all HMCTS staff (and to the public through quarterly published statistics). As such, it is continuously monitored at all levels from the frontline operation up through to the HMCTS Board, as part of a robust Planning, Allocation and Performance framework.

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