24 June 2019 – today’s press release

Liberal Democrats score victory for access to justice

The House of Lords has today passed a Liberal Democrat amendment to the Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill that will protect access to justice for people at risk of being digitally excluded.

The Government Bill brings a number of court procedures online. Liberal Democrat peers, led by Justice Spokesperson Jonathan Marks, have raised concerns that moving certain proceedings online may put those who struggle to easily access digital systems at risk of being excluded from access to justice.

Lord Marks therefore tabled an amendment to the Bill to put a statutory duty on the Government to make support available for digitally excluded people. This support includes assisting them to initiate, conduct, progress or participate in the proceedings by electronic means.

Government Ministers accepted the amendment today, and it was passed by the House of Lords without a vote.

Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Jonathan Marks said:

We welcome the move from the Government to start the much-needed process of modernising the courts. We were however concerned that sufficient support was not in place to ensure full access to the new system.

Navigating the courts is difficult enough for many as it is, and moving the system online could present problems, particularly for some older people, for those without computers or digital ability, for those who have no access to workable broadband, or those whose first language is not English.

The decision to accept the Liberal Democrat amendment is the right one, and I’m pleased we were able to persuade the Government that modernisation must not leave the digitally excluded behind.

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6 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 25th Jun '19 - 8:48am

    Amber Rudd is not a supporter of Boris Johnson, cannot forecast whether he would put her in his cabinet, ‘is a Conservative’ but would ‘not vote in a confidence motion’ which clearly implies she would abstain and is willing to say so now.

  • Richard Underhill 25th Jun '19 - 10:53am

    At Wembley Amber Rudd stood in for Theresa May and said
    (slightly paraphrased perhaps)
    ‘Boris can be the life and soul of the party
    but he is not the man to take you home afterwards’

  • @ Richard Underhill What on earth has Amber Rudd and the Johnson person got to do with Legal aid ?

    Are you practising some sort of diversionary entertainment to distract attention away from what should never have been tolerated back in 2012 and has been a running sore ever since.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 25th Jun '19 - 3:59pm

    David is correct, on this , as on Richard, who seems to post on the wrong thread, or the right thread having lost the thread!

    David, no win no fee is often more appropriate though, or contingency procedures as a way to gain represention, my wife and I years ago were exploited by an awful legal aid funded lawyer after the car accident, no win no fee would have meant he would have done some work, in fact we did it all……!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111

  • Lorenzo Cherin 25th Jun '19 - 4:01pm

    Apologies, all those number ones, should not be there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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