In early July the Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill completed its passage through the House of Lords. The Bill provides a legislative framework for more court proceedings to be conducted by electronic means. The Bill's second reading is expected in the House of Commons on Tuesday 16 July.Jump to full report >>
The Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill (the Online Procedure Bill) was introduced by the Government in the House of Lords on 1 May 2019. It received its Lords Third Reading on 2 July 2019 and was introduced into the House of Commons on 3 July 2019. The debate on its Second Reading in the Commons is expected to take place on 16 July 2019.
The Bill reintroduces proposals that initially formed part of Part 2 of the Prison and Courts Bill in the 2016-17 Parliamentary session. The passage of that Bill was prevented by the dissolution of the last Parliament for an early general election in 2017.
The proposals to make greater use of technology and online proceedings emerged from the Briggs Review, which reported in 2015 and 2016 into reform of civil court structure. This Bill’s provisions provide significant flexibility to provide electronic alternatives to both in-person and on-papers civil and family court and tribunal proceedings. They would also enable electronic proceedings to become the default, or even the only, option in most cases for proceedings should regulations and procedure rules so-specify.
The Bill itself has three main practical effects.
Several Government amendments were made during the Lords Report and Third Reading stages. Three issues received particularly close attention:
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8621
Author: Graeme Cowie