News story

Crime news: update on Better Case Management Crown Court rollout

Initiative to deliver speedier justice known as Better Case Management became fully operational at sites on 5 January 2016.


The majority of cases sent to the Crown Court are now subject to Better Case Management (BCM) principles and procedures.

The aim of this initiative is to ensure there is a single, effective hearing before trial, known as the plea and trial preparation hearing (PTPH).

The PTPH is normally expected to take place 28 days after the case has been sent from the magistrates court. The maximum time allowed, in special circumstances is 35 days.

Key to making BCM work effectively is early pre-trial engagement between defence practitioners and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) once a case has been sent from the magistrates court.

Digital working

The implementation of BCM is supported by the introduction of the Crown Court Digital Case System (DCS). Rollout of DCS will be completed by March 2016.

The DCS allows criminal justice system partners to work more collaboratively in a secure, web-based environment.

You can find out more by using the links below.

What is the driver for these changes?

The BCM initiative builds on recommendations made by Sir Brian Leveson in his ‘Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings’. This was published in January 2015.

Claiming fees

See below for guidance on making claims under the Litigator Graduated Fee Scheme and the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme.

Further information

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary: Better Case Management

Crown Court fee guidance

Training for Crown Court Digital Case System – 6 January 2016 news story

CCDCS online training

Better Case Management rollout in England and Wales – 7 December 2015 news story

Published 6 January 2016