Claire Bond reports that new legislation, making it even easier for court users to apply for small money claims or divorce online, was unveiled in the House of Lords on the 1st May 2019.
The Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill forms part of the government’s Reform Programme and will establish a judicially chaired committee tasked with developing new, simplified rules around online services in civil, family and tribunal proceedings.
More than 35,000 applications for divorce have already been made online since the system was launched in May 2018, reducing errors in applications from 40% to less than 1%. In addition, almost 60,000 applications were made to HMCTS’ online civil money claims service during the past year with claims now taking, on average, 10 minutes to issue - down from 15 days using the former paper-based service.
The measures recently announced will allow even more users to benefit from these online services. A dedicated Online Procedure Rule Committee will allow civil and family cases to be progressed more efficiently, as well as allowing financial savings across the justice system. Easy to follow guidance will ensure online services are as simple as possible to navigate and increase access to justice while supporting the uptake of HMCTS’ online services.
The digital court system is good for the environment too! In the four years since the system was introduced, 100 million (almost 500,000 kilograms) sheets of paper have been saved. That’s the equivalent of 40 double decker buses or 300 cars. Claire, comments “The savings made by the digital court system may not be earth shattering - but they are definitely a step in the right direction in reducing our use of the worlds precious resources”.
If you would like assistance in relation to debt recovery, call Claire on 02392 820 747 for further information.