The following update has been provide to Liverpool Law Society by our Law Society representative.
- Home test kits for court users – TLS guidance on best practice for member safety in court buildings/testing
- Reporting concerns – we are still keen to hear about any unsafe practices in courts – HMCTS have an escalation routes document for professional users, but if your members don’t feel the issues raised have been appropriately addressed by any of the stages outlined in the document, please email us at email@example.com – we are in regular contact with HMCTS and can raise any issues directly.
HMCTS remote hearings survey – views welcome
HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) are seeking views on the use of remote hearings during the pandemic to help understand how best to use and administer these in the longer term.
The views of legal representatives are of central importance to understanding how remote hearings are working. If you have taken part in a remote court or tribunal hearing since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, HMCTS would welcome your views.
The survey asks questions about both your practical experiences and perceptions of remote hearings and should take 10-15 minutes to complete; the survey can be found here. Please note that the closing date for the survey is 1 June 2021.
Information about the survey is available on the Law Society’s website.
TLS position on remote hearings
COVID-19 has necessitated a radical and fast transition to the widespread use of remote hearings to support hearings to take place when the attendance of all participants in the court or tribunal buildings is not possible or practicable.
To date, feedback from our members suggests that many procedural hearings (involving judges and advocates only) can be dealt with perfectly well remotely, and this should remain a permanent feature of the justice system.
Hearings involving vulnerable parties or witnesses, live evidence, or measures of significant controversy, however, are likely to be best served by an in-person hearing.
From the outset of the HMCTS court modernisation programme, and throughout the pandemic, the Law Society has flagged the importance of rigorous and comprehensive data collection and consultation with both the legal profession and court users to analyse fully the impact of remote hearings on access to justice and on justice outcomes.
Ensuring that there is robust data collection will mean Covid experiences such as the increased use of remote hearings and their impact on access to justice and justice outcomes, are properly evaluated, lessons learned and applied to future reform.
Ask an ambassador podcast series
- We’ll soon be launching a podcast series hosted by three of our social mobility ambassadors focused on socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
- You can get involved by submitting a question or topic related to social mobility within the profession
- We’ve also recorded a podcast with two of our Social Mobility Ambassadors and an awardee of our Diversity Access Scheme on the value of options in accessing the profession (listen here)
- 6 June, 14:00-15:00
- This interactive webinar will address:
• Selling yourself to an insurer – proposal forms and supporting information
• Risk management – managing your insurance costs by managing your business
• Remote working risks and opportunities
• Financing options – spreading out the costs of your insurance
• Post six year run-off cover
• Preparing for a world after SIF
- more info
- Ministry of Justice judicial review reforms consultation – Law Society response
- New plan for immigration (more info) – Law Society response
- Domestic Abuse Bill (Law Society press release)
- TLS welcomed the news that the Domestic Abuse Bill received royal assent, but cautioned that legal aid should be re-introduced for early advice in all family cases
- Financial Benchmarking Survey 2021
- Presents financial performance data on the financial year from 31 March 2019- 30 April 2020 – more info & full report
- Fieldwork for the 2022 report will be in June (alongside a quarterly pulse survey)
- The first quarter findings will be released the first week of May, reporting on changes in key firm metrics from the previous quarter and business confidence for the coming year.
Information from 12 May 2021