Possible closure of 91 courts across England and Wales
For the thousands of people who have needed to make use of the court system in England and Wales, most will probably attest to the fact that the experience is not a pleasant one. Whilst most divorce solicitors will endeavour to keep parties out of the court system, there are cases where the District Judges do need to become involved in order to resolve the matter.
Users of the court system could be faced with even more challenges, as the Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation into the proposed closure of 91 courts across England and Wales. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service currently operates 460 courts and tribunal hearing centres across England and Wales. The running of these courts costs taxpayers around half a billion pounds each year, and at present the MoJ says that some court buildings are being underused.
This consultation proposes to reduce surplus capacity by closing those courts and tribunals that are unused or underused, or that are considered as simply unsuitable for the services needed from them.
The consultation covers the proposed closure of:
- 57 magistrates’ courts
- 19 county courts
- 2 crown courts
- 4 tribunal hearing centres
- 9 combined courts.
The consultation closes on 8th October 2015 and the documentation can be found here.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in our Family team.