Wednesday 24 June 2015

Lord Chief Justice speech on Judicial Leadership ~ Modernising the court system

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, gave a speech on 22nd June at University College London - Judicial Leadership  Lord Thomas looks at the role of the judiciary in leading and shaping reform to (or overhaul of) the justice system.  An interview with Lord Thomas is available at BBC Law in Action.  The interviewer is Joshua Rozenberg.

A great deal of work is going on behind the scenes to try to improve the justice system.  For example, there is a considerable reform programme underway within Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) aimed at developing future ways of delivering justice.  Much more about this work ought to be revealed to the media and general public and perhaps, following the speech on 23rd June by the Secretary of State for Justice / Lord Chancellor, that will happen.

It will be essential that any reforms
enable the justice system to better cope with the large number of litigants in person brought about by reductions in legal aid.  Any member of the public is potentially an "end-user" of the justice system since disputes can arise in numerous areas such as purchase of goods, provision of services, debt, housing, benefit claims and so on.  Perhaps potential "end users" need to be somehow involved in developing and/or testing new systems.  Whether that is possible I don't really know but it's a thought.

The President of the Queen's Bench Division - Sir Brian Leveson - has also delivered a speech - Modernising Justice through Technology.  In fairness to government, significant investment in technology has been promised (some £700m).  Information Technology seems to be central to future development of the justice system but it has to be well-designed and implemented and easy to use by end-users.  One hopes that will be the case.  

The speech by the Secretary of State for Justice / Lord Chancellor was covered in the immediately preceding post

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