The Commission welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation on changes to the justice system, including digitisation of court services, online convictions and the composition of First-Tier Tribunal panels.
We note that the consultation document indicates that consideration is also being given to other reforms to the system, and we feel it is important to also refer briefly to these proposals here. The consultation refers to possible reform of the family court and employment tribunal systems. Significant human rights issues arise in both of these areas and the Commission will wish to be involved in the development of any such proposals. Further, the Commission notes that the Government has set out its intention to improve signposting to relevant dispute resolution mechanisms. The Commission considers that the existing proliferation of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, ombuds, tribunals and courts is confusing and difficult to navigate for those seeking to access justice. We therefore welcome this proposal. However, in our view, consideration should be given to whether the Government could do more to help those seeking justice to navigate the system by, for example, establishing a single portal, through which those seeking to access justice are directed to the most relevant dispute resolution mechanisms.
Last updated: 12 Jan 2017