Scope of the inquiry
HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is carrying out a range of reforms to introduce new technology and modernise the justice system. HM Courts and Tribunals is responsible for courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and some tribunals in Scotland.
The reforms introduced in 2016 included using online services and video technology to reduce demand on courtrooms, and a ‘Common Platform’ for sharing data and information between HMCTS, the Crown Prosecution Service and the police.
A recent National Audit Office report found that the scale of proposed changes to HMCTS present a challenge, and HMCTS has so far made less progress than it original planned. Costs have increased whilst benefits have decreased, and, whilst HMCTS has taken steps to manage risks and improve how it manages the changes, it will be difficult to deliver without additional meaningful engagement with other related parties such as police and legal professionals.
The Committee will ask representatives from HMCTS and the Ministry of Justice about the benefits the transformation will bring, whether enough progress has been made so the programmes deliver value for money, and how they can ensure all the organisations with a part to play are fully engaged with the programmes.