An unprecedented rise in the number of litigants in person and a growing caseload of sexual offences with not-guilty pleas are among factors threatening attempts to cut delays in the court system, the Lord Chief Justice has warned.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas

In his annual report published today, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd (pictured) also mentions ‘disruption’ because of the dispute over legal aid placing ‘a very significant burden’ on court staff. However he is upbeat about the progress of efforts to modernise IT and to bring more women into the judiciary.