Court closures and how we feel it may affect our clients

12th February 2016

Court closures and how we feel it may affect our clients

The government’s decision to axe nearly a fifth of the country’s courts and tribunals will put the justice system under pressure and cause disruption to witnesses, magistrates and defendants.

That’s the view of Gotelee Solicitors following the announcement by HM Courts and Tribunals Service yesterday that 86 of England and Wales’s courts would close.

The decision, which ministers claim will reduce the annual £500m cost of the courts estate, will leave Suffolk with only one magistrate court, in Ipswich.

The result is that many of those who are required to attend court, which includes witnesses, will have to travel more than an hour to get there.

The Law Society, the Magistrates’ Association and Resolution, which represents 6,500 family lawyers in England and Wales, have all condemned the move as ill-thought out.

And it is a perspective shared by Gotelee who’s clients from Crime, Family, Employment, Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury will be particularly affected.

Hugh Rowland, a partner at the firm, said the system of local justice was likely to suffer as a result.

“The criminal justice system has sustained unprecedented cuts and detrimental reforms in recent years – and the Ministry of Justice’s decision to close more courts and tribunals is just the latest example.

“The closures will put huge pressure on the courts that remain open. In Suffolk, we will be left with only one magistrates’ court and the potential impact is deeply concerning.

“The government claims efficiency savings are at the heart of all this. But what of the cost to witnesses, magistrates, defendants, and their representatives, who will now be forced to travel many miles and waste many hours for even the most minor of cases?

“Is this really acting in the interests of justice?”

Aside from the closures in Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds, Colchester County Court and Family Court will also close.

The government has published a schedule for the closures, with six phases planned between now and September 2017.

Malcolm Richardson, national chairman of the Magistrates’ Association, told the BBC many of its members would be “very worried” about the impact of the closures.

“There will be inevitable additional pressure on the system and the paramount concern of magistrates is for accessible justice to be protected,” he said.

The latest closures follow the axing of other magistrates’ court in the county in recent years, including those in Felixstowe, Haverhill, Newmarket, Saxmundham, Stowmarket, Mildenhall and Sudbury.

How can our solicitors in Ipswich, Hadleigh or Felixstowe help you?

To contact one of our solicitors in Ipswich, Hadleigh or Felixstowe, please call 01473 211121 to make an appointment.

Partner
Practice Areas
Accident and Personal Injury Claims
Criminal Law Solicitors
Regulatory
Blog Posts

As families change, so too should your legal arrangements

03/08/2018

If ever there was a statistic that illustrated the changing family dynamic of 21st…

Read More
Upcoming Events

Gotelee Legal Walk

07/06/2018

Gotelee Solicitors are walking the Ipswich Legal Walk on behalf of the Eastern Legal…

Read More
News Posts

UK ranked fifth worst for workplace stress

16/08/2018

  Levels of workplace stress in the UK are among the highest in the…

Read More

Testimonials

"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"I have used Tracey Laflin at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

"Domini was very fast and efficient in carrying out her work for me - she was also very good at explaining things to me"

-

"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"

-

"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"

-

"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."

-

Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact.