In a post-consultation report published last month, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced its intention to close 86 court and tribunal buildings.
The report was published in response to the MoJ’s consultation, “Proposal on the provision of court and tribunal estate in England and Wales”, which was launched on 15th July 2015. The consultation contained proposals to close courts and tribunals that are unused, underused or unsuitable for future use.
The MoJ initially proposed the closure of ninety one courts and tribunals, but it now intends to close eighty six. Sixty four sites will close as set out in the consultation, with changes being made to 22 of the proposed closures. The changes include the establishment of suitable alternative venues, such as the use of local civil buildings.
The report contains the MoJ’s responses to concerns expressed in the consultation responses. These have been divided into four themes:
- Access to justice;
- Value for money;
- Operational efficiency;
- Alternative provision of services.
This report also provides a list of all of the courts and tribunals that were consulted on and the decision that was taken in each case. Alongside the report, the MoJ has published regional consultation response documents, which contain explanations for each decision. The response is also accompanied by a schedule of potential implementation dates. According to the report, the MoJ intends to close all of the scheduled courts within the next two years.
Chris Harper is an experienced solicitor and heads up the dispute resolution team in Exeter. If you would like to contact the team, please call 01392 210700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.