COURTS: Families do need access

The government's decision to close 86 courts across the country, including the local court in Morpeth, is devastating news for families.

Saturday, 5th March 2016, 3:00 pm

Parents and children need to be able to have access to the justice system – this decision will make that more difficult.

Closing courts may make sense on a government spreadsheet, but the reality is that on the ground it will have a profound impact on local people who require courts at a deeply emotional and difficult time in their life.

Many who use the courts are vulnerable and of limited means.

For these people to be told they now have to travel to a court miles away in another town will cause them further avoidable stress, and additional costs which will be prohibitive for many.

The system is already struggling due to a combination of funding cuts, fewer judges and an increase in the number of people representing themselves in the family court.

That is why Resolution is calling on the government to reconsider, and instead come forward with detailed plans for modernising family courts across the country, before any court closes its doors for good.

Jo Edwards

Chairman, Resolution family law organisation