500 signatures reached
To: Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Justice
Defend local access to justice
Stop the closure of courts and tribunals that restrict access to local justice.
Why is this important?
Government have announced the closure of 86 courts and tribunals in England and Wales. If this closure programme goes ahead 38.5% of courts and tribunals will have closed since 2010.
These closures will restrict access to courts and tribunals for many court users and will add unnecessary stress for victims and witnesses.
The plans that were subject to consultation over the summer contained a series of errors including underestimates of journey times to alternative courts and a lack of detailed cost benefit analysis with many of the proposed closures making no financial sense.
Many courts set for closure have better facilities for court users than the ones they are being proposed to be moved to.
The Government case for the closures is driven solely by cost and is underpinned by digital processes in the early stages of implementation with the usual associated problems.
This decision leaves a justice system in real danger of becoming so divorced from the people who need access to it that it can no longer be considered to be true justice and will undermine public confidence.