Court closure consultation

  • 27/07/2015

the law society

From the President

To Presidents of Local Law Societies


Dear President

Re: Court closure consultation

I am sure you will be aware that the Ministry of Justice is consulting on the proposed closure of 91 courts and tribunals and the integration or merger of 31 more.

The consultation document is available here.

The consultation annexes set out the proposals for different regions as follows:



North East and Yorkshire

North West

South East

South West


I shall be grateful if you will draw these proposals to the attention of your members. I hope that as many societies as possible will be able to respond. The final date for consultation responses is 8 October. I know that this may be difficult because of the holiday period but I am sure that you will agree that it is very important that the profession shares its knowledge and expertise on this matter with the Ministry of Justice.

When you respond to the consultation, it is worth bearing in mind that the Ministry will be particularly keen to hear about the way the closures will affect your clients and their ability to access justice. In addition, where members have submitted criminal legal aid tenders which may be affected by the closures, please encourage members to highlight the likely impact.

There may be closures which will be sensible and may assist clients, particularly if there are efficiencies to be gained. For example, you may know of local civic buildings which might be used for temporary or ‘pop-up’ facilities; proposing flexible use of current facilities may assist in constructing an argument for local provision. Clearly, if monies can be spent on funding the services of solicitors rather than the court estate this should be highlighted.

I would also recommend identifying the differences between areas of work so, for example, there may be a greater justification for keeping provision of a family court in one geographical area as opposed to a combined court centre.

The Law Society will of course be compiling a response. In order to assist, please do share your response with us.

If you have immediate observations please send your comments to The Law Society’s dedicated inbox [email protected] by

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Smithers


Direct Line: 020 73205603
Direct Fax: 020 7320 5759

[email protected]