Future-proofing justice

Think tank: Social Market Foundation

Author(s): Richard Hyde

June 15, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at making the civil and criminal courts world-leading by 2030.

This report from Social Market Foundation think-tank outlines an reform agenda for the UK’s courts systems. In recent decades the civil and criminal courts of England and Wales have demonstrated significant failings. These are causing considerable individual, societal and financial detriment and undermining the rule of law. This report surveys the current state of the courts and the likely impact of the current modernisation programme and outlines an agenda for reform that goes beyond the existing plans – in order to ensure that the UK’s courts are world-leading by 2030. The goal should be to build world-leading civil and criminal court systems in England and Wales by 2030.

The reforms need to:

  • Be future-facing and based upon a robust body of evidence.
  • Built upon proven approaches, through the application of key lessons learnt from successful examples of court system transformations and models of dispute resolution that have demonstrated themselves to be effective.
  • Have a central role for the right technologies, which can help deliver the transformations in the structures, management and processes of the two court systems that are needed.