ACSO calls for step chance in civil justice service


The Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) has launched a campaign urging ministers to tackle ongoing delays in the civil courts.

Official statistics reveal how time taken for small and fast-track claims to reach court have extended since 2019 – increasing from 38 and 59 weeks to 51 and 80 weeks respectively.

Meanwhile, tribunals have stretched out from 30 weeks to 45 weeks.

This means the UK has now fallen from 13th to 20th in the World Justice Project’s ranking of countries with the most accessible and affordable civil justice.

Matthew Maxwell Scott, ACSO’s executive director, said, “Most people want the civil courts to hear their cases quickly and effectively; philosophising about the merits or otherwise of the Human Rights Act doesn’t help anyone caught up in a sclerotic justice system.”

Delays have been caused by a number of factors, including a 40% cut in the Ministry of Justice budget, delays in the HMCTS modernisation programme, and a focus on criminal courts and lack of political will to improve civil justice.

ACSO is now calling for more government funding and focus on civil justice, the adoption of new technologies to streamline claims, greater transparency around waiting times, and closer engagement with industry to bring about an improved service.

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