Administration of Justice: Autism

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 22nd September 2022.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of people diagnosed with autism who have been through the court system in each of the last five years.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people diagnosed with autism were granted reasonable adjustments as defined within the Equal Treatment Bench Book in the last year.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not require that people going through the court system tell them if they are diagnosed with autism. HMCTS also does not record centrally the number of people with autism who have requested a reasonable adjustment in relation to their autism or otherwise told the agency that they have autism.

HMCTS also does not record centrally when a judicial office holder agrees to a reasonable adjustment as defined in the Equal Treatment Bench Book for people diagnosed with autism.

HMCTS is committed under the National Autism Strategy Implementation Plan to continue to improve staff awareness of dealing with court and tribunal users with hidden disabilities, including autistic people.

Initiatives include the current pilot of the Hidden Disabilities sunflower lanyard scheme to help users with hidden disabilities get the support they need. The pilot has been a success and is now being rolled out nationally with a completion date of June 2023.

HMCTS and the judiciary are committed to providing reasonable adjustments that will help people with disabilities including autism access services, facilities and information, and participate in court and tribunal proceedings without disadvantage.

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