On 5 November 2019, the Committee of Public Accounts published its final report into the government’s progress on transforming courts and tribunals.

The report concludes that HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) did not adequately consider how previous court closures impacted on access to the justice system, particularly for vulnerable users.

The committee noted that HMCTS is planning to close a further 77 courts in the next phase of reform, having already closed 127 since 2015, and that these courts were closed before services were moved online.

It recommends that HMCTS sets out what it will do to make sure that the needs of vulnerable users are considered in future closure decisions, and where access issues are apparent, it should put in place measures to compensate for difficulties.