Christina Rees Shadow Minister (Justice):
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what measures her Department will put in place to provide continued access to court services for people who cannot access those services online after the implementation of the proposals outlined in its Transforming our Justice System consultation paper, published in September 2016.
Oliver Heald The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice:
Access to justice is not just about proximity to a court and we are committed to providing alternative ways for our users to access our services that are more efficient and convenient for them.
As we modernise our courts and bring more services online we will replace unfamiliar legal language with more straightforward wording. This will help make our services more accessible for everyone.
All new online services will be developed to ensure users have access to facilities to assist them throughout the process. This will include; step-by-step online guidance to assist people when completing forms online, telephone support and free of charge, face to face support from an HMCTS representative. This will be available at locations across the country, including rural areas.
We want a justice system that works for everyone. That means users who are not comfortable using digital channels will be provided with an alternative and given the support they need in choosing an option which works best for them.
Crucially it will not be compulsory for the public to use digital channels.