Vision for the future of civil and family courts and tribunals

Today the Lord Chancellor and senior judiciary launch a shared vision for the future of the civil and family courts and tribunals system

People rely on our civil, family and tribunals justice system to protect and enforce their rights. This applies to  individuals with complex needs grappling with debt and housing issues, and to business owners who need to navigate complicated contractual disputes.

We want to make it easier for people experiencing legal problems to access high quality information and support at the right time and in the right way. This will allow them to understand their options and to take the right steps to prevent their problems from escalating. We will use advances in technology to support delivery of this, including exploring safe and appropriate uses of AI.  

We want to enable people to resolve their problems earlier and at less cost, for example through mediation or online dispute resolution. They should be safe in the knowledge that if this is not successful, it will be straightforward to take the next step of seeking judicial determination through the courts or tribunals. We will encourage and build online and offline connections between different parts of the system to achieve solutions. 

Providing a joined-up process will require the effective and safe transfer of people’s data. We have established the Online Procedure Rule Committee (OPRC) to provide governance and develop data standards for the system. We will support the OPRC to embed these standards with the third and private sector organisations that deliver information, support and dispute resolution services.  

This is a broad and ambitious vision for the future of civil, family and tribunals justice. And we will only deliver it working together with stakeholders across the system. With this collaboration, we will ensure that our justice system supports people from the earliest point they begin to experience a legal problem. It will provide people with the right information and support to understand all their options. It will empower them to resolve their problem in a way that meets their needs and is proportionate to the matter in dispute. A judicial determination provided through our courts and tribunals will always available where necessary.

Ministry of Justice
HM Courts & Tribunals Service
The Rt Hon Alex Chalk KC MP