'This is devastating news for thousands of separating families. Parents and children need to be able to access the justice system. That is why it’s disappointing to see the Ministry of Justice closing so many family courts across the country.
Those affected the most by these closures will be vulnerable people such as victims of domestic abuse, young people and those who rely on public transport to get around.
Resolution members, and many other organisations, have presented the Government with local expertise and local knowledge which shows that their assessment of the true impact on people using the courts is patchy at best. For example, they haven’t presented any analysis of the impact on remaining courts.
Instead of this simplistic, ill-thought through exercise, Ministers should be coming forward with detailed plans for modernising family courts. While we welcome the additional investment in remaining courts that the government has promised, this work needs to be done as a matter of urgency if the impact of these closures is to be mitigated.
Unfortunately, parents and children will now be faced with closures at a time when the system is already struggling due to a devastating combination of funding cuts, fewer judges and an increase in the number of people representing themselves in the family court.'
Last week the Law Gazette reported that 15 closed courts from a previous reform programme remain unsold.
The national court closures consultation outcome is available to view here .