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Landmark Civil Court in North West officially opened

Date:11 MAR 2008

The largest civil and family court to be built for more than 100 years in England and Wales has formally opened by the Queen at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre on 28 February.

The Centre has been hearing family law and family care cases, along with other civil cases, since it opened for business last October.

Jack Straw, Justice Secretary, said:

"This magnificent new court centre is testament to our commitment to the civil courts and to provide a first class civil and family justice system. It is part of the wider regeneration of the City of Manchester giving its people a court with a stunning design and superb facilities of which they can be proud. Businesses and consumers are already reaping the benefits when they come to court to resolve disputes. And in family cases the vulnerable are getting extra reassurance and confidence with modern witness suites and video link facilities."

The Centre boasts 47 hearing rooms, 76 consultation rooms, 7 conference rooms and offices for CAFCASS and Manchester Advisory and Information Service.

Commenting on the new Centre, Neil Ward, HMCS Chief Executive, said:
"It has brought together all the civil and family work in Manchester into one court, allowing cases to be heard more quickly with better facilities, more efficient listings and more flexible use of courtrooms. Its central location is more convenient for court users and will save much travelling time."

The Centre hears High Court cases and is home to the Manchester District Registry and County Court; Manchester City Magistrates' Family Courts; the District Probate Registry; and the Regional and Area Offices.