Two magistrates courts in Northamptonshire to close after review of underused and poor quality courtrooms

Corby Magistrates Court could close
Corby Magistrates Court could close

Two magistrates courts in Northamptonshire are to close if Government proposals announced today go ahead.

Kettering and Corby Magistrates’ Courts, along with Kettering County Court, are included on a list of dozens of courts nationally which the Ministry of Justice has released today.

A public consultation on the proposals has begun today (July 16), and will run until October 8.

The consultation paper says: “There is a broad consensus that the current system is unsustainable and that we have an opportunity to create a modern, more user-focused and efficient service.

“Increased use of technology such as video, telephone and online conferencing will help drive these improvements.

“Straightforward, transactional matters, such as paying a fine and obtaining probate can be dealt with using digital technology to make the processes as straightforward as filing a tax return.

“Many straightforward cases do not need face to face hearings which should be reserved for the most sensitive or complex cases.

“We can only provide better access to justice if we take difficult decisions to reduce the cost of our estate and reinvest the savings.”

The consultation covers the proposed closure of 57 magistrates’ courts, 19 county courts, two crown courts, four tribunal hearing centres and nine combined courts.