Proposed merger of Local Justice Areas in Cambridgeshire

Closed 7 Jul 2014

Opened 26 May 2014

Results Updated 5 Sep 2014

A total of 16 responses were received to this consultation.  Of these, five were from individual magistrates, three were on behalf of benches or panels of magistrates; one was from the Regional Employment Judge, one from the Crown Prosecution Service; one from Cambridgeshire Police; and five were from local authorities.

Of these, ten (including most magistrates, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Police) were in favour of the changes, two expressly opposed them and four could be categorised as ambivalent, not opposing merger, but with concerns.

The Response to Consultation summarises the submissions received and the Judicial Business Group’s response to them.  The Group is confirmed in its view that that merger will  achieve the aims set out in the consultation:  improving the delivery of justice, increasing the opportunities for magistrates to retain experience, and enabling best use of current resources.

What happens next

Following the consultation the Judicial Business Group has determined to ask the Lord Chancellor to merge the three Local Justice Areas in Cambridgeshire into one.  The Lord Chancellor and the Senior Presiding Judge on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice will now consider their submission and it is hoped that if it is approved merger will take place from 1 April 2015. 

A shadow Judicial Leadership Group made up of members of the judiciary and HM Courts and Tribunals Service staff will manage the transition.

Files:

Overview

A consultation proposing a merger of the three current Local Justice Areas of Huntingdonshire, North Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire to create a single Cambridgeshire Bench.

It is aimed at magistrates, court users, partners, other judiciary, staff and other parties with an interest in the provision of local justice arrangements in Cambridgeshire.

The aim of the proposal is to improve the effectiveness of the delivery of justice by improving flexibility in dealing with cases in magistrates’ courts in Cambridgeshire and by increasing the opportunities for magistrates to retain experience and thus competence.  It also enables best use of current resources by more effective listing and by streamlining the out of court activities of magistrates.

Audiences

  • Litigants
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary

Interests

  • Courts