Message from Lord Burnett of Maldon, Lord Chief Justice and Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals:
During the course of last year, we embarked on a wide-ranging exercise to gather the view of judges, panel members and magistrates on aspects of the proposals which underline the modernisation and reform programme of our courts and tribunals. We sought to bring to bear the insight and expertise of the judiciary as a whole in the design by HMCTS of the detail of the plans. The original survey documents can be found below.
We received responses from or on behalf of 10,000 judges, panel members and magistrates. Almost 800 attended local meetings to express their views. We provided an overview of the responses to judges in July 2018. The then Heads of Division, Judicial Reform Board and jurisdiction specific groups of judges worked in the detail and had extensive discussions with officials to develop proposals which are practical and which should improve the efficiency of the administration of justice, wider access to justice and maintain open justice.
The judiciary is at the heart of shaping modernisation and has been working closely and collaboratively with HMCTS to produce a better justice system for the public.
A number of themes emerged from the ‘JWoW’ exercise. They included the need for the new technologies to work and for judges to be properly trained on new systems. Judges were understandably concerned about the impact of the programme on staffing levels and on court closures.
JWoW is a continuing conversation. Modernisation must increase access to justice, increase efficiency and improve the working conditions for all that use the courts and tribunals. The feedback gathered from this exercise, and the continued engagement to come, will ensure that judicial office holders will play a vital part in shaping future justice.
Original survey documents by jurisdiction: