The government has announced their intention to close 86 courts across England and Wales.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed that following the consultation to close 91 courts last year, 64 courts will close as planned with a further 22 closures taking place with amendments to the original proposals.
According to Justice Minister Shailesh Vara: ‘On average, the 86 courts we are closing are used for just over a third of their available hearing time. That is equivalent to less than 2 days a week. It will still be the case that after these closures, over 97% of citizens will be able to reach their required court within an hour by car.’
A further hurdle for Claimants and their access to justice. One has to assume less Courts will result in elongating the litigation process. From personal recent experience two of five trials were adjourned last month, the Court simply could not hear the same within the Court timetable. This is hopefully not a sign of what is to come following the closures, though I suspect it will a more regular occurrence.