News story

Justice Secretary visits frontline staff delivering key court reform work

Elizabeth Truss met staff and judges at the Court of Appeal and Central Family Court.

The Lord Chancellor Elizabeth Truss visited two of London’s most high profile courts today to meet with frontline staff and see first-hand some of the impressive work being delivered.

The visit follows urgent steps taken by Ministers to ban perpetrators of domestic abuse from cross-examining their victims within the family court system.

During her visit to the Central Family Court, which deals with disputes involving partners, children and domestic violence, she met with Designated Family Judge HHJ Robin Tolson to discuss our plans for stronger protections for vulnerable victims and witnesses, particularly children.

The court also features non-traditional ‘courtrooms’ to help resolve family disputes in a less adversarial way, with colourful environments and carefully designed areas to help put children more at ease.

Speaking after the visit, Elizabeth Truss said:

We have a world leading legal system and, alongside the judiciary, are reforming and modernising our courts to ensure justice is efficient, simple and works for everyone.

The impressive work being done by the dedicated court staff I met today shows how we will improve access to justice and the experience for all court users, in particular vulnerable victims, witnesses and children.

Earlier at the Court of Appeal the Lord Chancellor observed proceedings and met with the Lord Chief Justice to discuss the benefits of digitisation and how unnecessary paper is already being removed from hearings to deliver swifter justice for court users. Currently the amount of digital files in our criminal courts, if printed, would reach the height of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai.

The visit follows the publication of an historic joint paper by the Lord Chancellor, Senior President of Tribunals and Lord Chief Justice in September of last year which set out their £1 billion vision to modernise our world-leading justice system.