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Crime and Courts Bill

14th January 2013

Jonathan Djanogly backs the second reading of the Crime and Courts Bill, but calls for improved efficiency in the county court system.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con): Before my right hon. Friend moves on from part 2, does she agree that it is bizarre that in 2013 we have this Victorian situation whereby each county court represents its own individual personality? I welcome the changes in the Bill, but will she lean over and ask her right hon. Friend the Justice Secretary whether we will move quickly on this issue to improve justice in the county courts and to cut costs?

Mrs May: Yes, we will do everything we can to improve efficiency in the system and we will look at the whole of issue of individual county courts versus a national county court system, as it were. This is part of the Bill. My hon. Friend makes a valuable point about the personalities of county courts.

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Mr Djanogly: On the basis of the right hon. Lady’s rationale, I assume that she will be very pleased by the introduction of the single family court. There will be a single point of entry between the courts, and judges will work together in those courts so that the child cases to which she has referred can be dealt with better and faster.

Yvette Cooper: I think that the reforms of family courts will have a great many benefits. They are the result of independent reviews, and a considerable amount of work over some time, to establish how those courts can be improved, particularly from the point of view of the children involved. We certainly support measures in the family courts that can improve support for children, including child protection.

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