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First Courts & Tribunals Service Centres launched

The country's first Courts and Tribunals Service Centres will be launched in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent. The centres will bring together expertise in managing court and tribunal cases as they transform from traditional paper-based processes to modern digital systems.

The two centres will employ more than 300 people each, in roles that range from processing cases, and issuing court orders and hearing notices, to answering telephone and web enquiries.

Dominic Raab, Justice Minister, said:

"The move is part of our £1 billion reform programme to digitise the justice system – making it more sensitive for witnesses, more convenient for other users and better value for public money."

Last year HMCTS dealt with over 4.1 million criminal, civil, family and tribunal cases. As more centres open, many of the enquiries relating to these will be channelled through the new Courts and Tribunals Service Centres.

These service centres will underpin wider changes in how and where the justice system can be accessed. The Ministry of Justice says that people can now access easy-to-use services online – including applying for a divorce, making a benefit appeal, entering a plea for a speeding offence – making the justice system more open to working people.

The new service centres are being planned based on research into what users want and need, and in consultation with judges, magistrates and legal professionals, as well as agencies that represent the public and support people with cases going through the justice system.

The centres are a fundamental part of the way in which justice services will be provided in future in the £1 billion investment in court reform, which will ensure that more citizens will find it easier to use the justice system.

For the Ministry of Justice announcement, click here.