Courts backlog plan from HMCTS
HMCTS have published their Civil, Family & Tribunals Recovery Plan which aims to help clear the courts backlog. The plan outlines how the civil and family courts and the various tribunals are increasing capacity to hear cases and maintain operations during COVID-19.
The publication details the progress that has already been made to date to clear the courts backlog by safely increasing capacity to deal with outstanding cases. It also sets out plans of how HMCTS will continue to deliver justice services for all users in these areas.
There are 5 key pillars of the recovery plan:
- Maximising the capacity of the judiciary to sit as many sitting days as possible.
- Re-opening courtrooms where it is safe to do so as quickly as possible and reinforcing this capacity with COVID Operating Hours and Nightingale Courts where required.
- Ensuring remote hearings continue to be effectively supported with increased staff support and guidance for users.
- Increasing staff numbers to support delivery as everyone adapts to new ways of working.
- Continuing to build online services in areas such as probate and divorce and working with the judiciary to pilot new approaches, which saves administrative time and frees up judges to hear more cases.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.