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Consultations


2010


15 October 2010
Debt Management Schemes

The response to a consultation on a range of possible options for improving the way that many debtors deal with indebtedness. These options provide an opportunity for people to be able to repay their debts in a controlled and managed way. Published on the Ministry of Justice website.



23 June 2010
Consultation on local courts published

Ministers have announced proposals to modernise and improve the use of courts in England and Wales. Consultations have been published seeking to enable HMCS to better provide vital services for local communities.  They ask for views on whether to close 103 magistrates’ and 54 county courts in England and Wales that are underused and inadequate.

Consultation papers on Ministry of Justice website



21 January 2010
Proposed merger of Cambridge and East Cambridgeshire Local Justice Areas

A consultation on a proposal to merge Cambridge and East Cambridgeshire Local Justice Areas.

The consultation outlines the issues surrounding future provision of court services in the South Area of Cambridgeshire and the proposal to merge of the two current Local Justice Areas and Benches of Cambridge and East Cambridgeshire. The amalgamated Bench will be known as the South Cambridgeshire Bench. Sittings will continue to take place at Cambridge and Ely.



21 January 2010
Proposed merger of Central Norfolk and West Norfolk Local Justice Areas

A consultation on proposals to merge the Local Justice Areas in Central Norfolk and West Norfolk.

The consultation paper outlines a proposal to merge the two current Local Justice Areas of Central Norfolk and West Norfolk and to merge the Central Norfolk and West Norfolk Benches. The amalgamated bench will be known as the Central and West Norfolk Bench.





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2009


28 October 2009
Crown Court means testing draft regulations

This consultation paper sets out the details of the draft regulations for the introduction of means testing for criminal legal aid in the Crown Court. The proposals are designed to help ensure that the government continues to target resources at those who need them most, giving the taxpayer better value for money.

Crown Court means testing will fairly and effectively require all those defendants who can genuinely afford to pay all or some of their legal aid costs - on the basis of their income and capital - to do so. At the same time, it ensures that all those who would genuinely find it difficult to pay a contribution continue to have access to free legal aid.



13 October 2009
Changes to court services in England

The Justice Secretary has today, on the recommendation of the HM Courts Service Board, announced the intention to close Nelson County Court and consult on the closure of 21 other courts which are under-used or do not meet the standards the public should expect. London Region has also published a paper to enable discussions with partners on the future of magistrates’ courts across the capital. A full list of the courts affected and the Written Ministerial Statement is published on the Ministry of Justice website.  



1 September 2009
Proposal for three Local Justice Areas instead of nine in Lincolnshire

A consultation on a proposal to merge the current nine Local Justice Areas and Benches in Lincolnshire - namely Lincoln, Gainsborough, Sleaford, Grantham, Bourne and Stamford, Elloes (Spalding) Boston, Skegness and Wolds - to form three new Local Justice Areas and Benches for Lincolnshire.



14 May 2009
Arrangements for payment of fines in magistrates’ courts in Humber and South Yorkshire

It is proposed that, except in exceptional circumstances, fine and maintenance payments by cash and cheque should no longer be taken at local magistrates’ courts in Humber and South Yorkshire, and that payment counter and drop box facilities at magistrates’ courts should no longer be provided.

A wide range of alternative convenient payment methods are now available for payers, which will allow Her Majesty’s Courts Service to make efficiency savings via automated processes. If payers wish to continue to pay their fines or maintenance payments in cash, they will continue to be able to do so via payment cards at an extensive network of local outlets, including post offices.



29 April 2009
Engaging Communities in Criminal Justice

In the Engaging Communities in Criminal Justice Green published today, Justice Secretary Jack Straw launched a prototype of the first justice website to give local sentencing information in one place to ensure people have the chance to see how justice is being effected in their communities.



27 January 2009
Proposed merger of Warley and West Bromwich Local Justice Areas

A consultation on a proposal to merge the two current Local Justice Areas in Warley and West Bromwich and Benches in Warley and West Bromwich to form a Local Justice Area for the Borough of Sandwell. The amalgamated bench would be known as the Sandwell Bench.





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2008


10 December 2008
Civil Court Fees 2008

A consultation on proposals to make changes to civil court fees, particularly in enforcement processes and to make changes to the magistrates' court fees order.



6 November 2008
Crown Court means testing

This consultation sets out the Government's proposals for reintroducing means testing for legal aid in the Crown Court.



4 November 2008
More flexible approach to resolving disputes in contact cases

The Children and Adoption Act 2006 provides ways to help the courts find solutions in contact cases where there is conflict between the parents about whom a child should see and how often. The remaining provisions of Part 1 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 will be implemented on 8 December 2008.



11 September 2008
Her Majesty's Courts Service court user survey

Findings of the second year (2007/08) results from Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS) court user survey are available on the Ministry of Justice website.



05 September 2008
The future of Camden and Islington youth work

This paper seeks views on various proposals dealing with the work arising from the London Boroughs of Camden and Islington, including reopening the youth court at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court. This measure should relieve the pressure on Thames Youth Court improving the quality of service offered to court users.



28 July 2008
Proposal to close Nelson County Court

This paper sets out for consultation the proposal that Nelson County Court is closed and the existing services and jurisdictional responsibility be transferred to Burnley Combined Court.

Nelson County Court has limited jurisdiction. It deals with county court civil claims, divorce and private law family applications. It has no High Court or bankruptcy jurisdiction, nor does it administer children's funds.



8 January 2008
Written ministerial statement: court fees in public law family proceedings
Justice Minister Bridget Prentice has made a written ministerial statement on the consultation on court fees in child care and adoption proceedings published on 19 December 2007.



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2007


19 December 2007
Public Law Family Fees Consultation Paper

A consultation on the government's strategy for developing the fees system in the civil and family courts of England and Wales. The consultation sets out proposals to:

- make changes to court fees in relation to Public Law Children Act process.
- make changes to fees charged for Adoption proceedings.



15 November 2007
Her Majesty's Court User Survey
The results from our first full year's user survey is published on the Ministry of Justice website.

16 April 2007
Family Proceedings Court Plan - HMCS Dorset Area (PDF 0.00Kb)

22 March 2007
Confidence and confidentiality: Improving transparency and privacy in family courts
This report summarises responses to the consultation on improving transparency and privacy in family courts. It also includes discussions of views expressed at stakeholder events and in online discussion forum for adults, and children and young people.

March 2007
Delivering a Step Change in Performance: National Standards, Consistently Applied (PDF 0.00Kb)



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2006


Response to consultation paper: a model for the provision of Justices' Clerks in England and Wales
The summary of responses to this consultation paper is now available on the MoJ website.

Consultation Paper: Separate representation of children
This consultation paper sets out proposals on how to improve the outcomes for children involved in family proceedings.

Improving transparency and privacy in family courts
This HMCS/MoJ consultation sets out the Government's proposals for improving transparency and privacy in the family courts.

Electronic Filing and Document Management

HMCS Business Strategy (PDF 0.00Kb)

Technology And Construction Court Pilots New Court Settlement Process (PDF 0.00Kb)

Technology and Construction Court Interim Report and Consultation: Pre-action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes (PDF 0.00Kb)



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2005

Management Proposals to Develop a Unified Family Service Consultation paper (PDF)
The response paper sets out HM Courts Service plans to support family courts. The aim is for County Courts and Family Proceeding Centres to work together as one unit, achieving greater flexibility in the use of resources and the transfer of family work between FPC justices, District Judges and Circuit Judges.

- two related papers on the Ministry of Justice website:

Specialisation of Family Magistrates
This paper sets out for consultation how sitting for family magistrates might be split between the adult court and family proceedings courts and whether magistrates should be able to specialise in family work.

Authorisations to sit in Family Proceedings Courts and Youth Courts
This consultation document seeks views on proposals to change the process by which magistrates are authorised to sit and preside in family proceedings courts and youth courts, following the introduction of the Courts Act 2003.

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