Embracing a Digital Court System through HMCTS Reform

At the Modernising Criminal Justice 2023 conference, attendees had the chance to attend a thought-provoking keynote presentation by Nick Goodwin, the Chief Executive of HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

With his extensive knowledge and experience, Nick delved into the progress of the ambitious £1.3 billion reform programme, shedding light on how it is aligning with its original vision. The overarching goal of this ambitious initiative is to create a justice system that is fair, proportionate, and accessible to all individuals who depend on our courts and tribunals to administer justice.

During his presentation, Nick provided a comprehensive review of the programme's achievements and milestones thus far. He emphasised how the ongoing modernisation efforts have permeated and enhanced the day-to-day operations within the criminal courts. This transformation has been made possible through the integration of digital services, which have already facilitated the submission of over 2.1 million cases across all jurisdictions. However, Nick also acknowledged the challenges that the programme has encountered since it began in 2016, reiterating the vital importance of learning from experiences to further refine and improve the reform process and frontline service.

As HMCTS approaches the final stages of this unique programme, Nick outlined the organisation's immediate priorities. These include completing the modernisation process and ensuring a smooth transition into a future of continuous improvement of court and tribunal services to underpin operational performance. HMCTS aims to build on the operational progress achieved so far within the Crown and magistrates' courts, using this momentum gained to move towards a criminal justice system that is as efficient, accessible and effective as possible. 

With Nick's insightful and forward-thinking perspective, it is evident that the HMCTS reform programme is fulfilling the vision it set out to achieve in building a world class justice system for future generations.  By embracing technological advancements and a more accessible approach, the organisation has achieved positive outcomes and is making sure that HMCTS is prepared for the remaining changes and challenges. As the final stages of the programme draw near, it is an exciting time for all those involved in modernising the criminal justice system. Listen to Nick's full presentation below.