This briefing paper analyses court and tribunal closures in England and Wales. Since 2010, there have been two major court closure programmes, the Court Estate Reform Programme (CERP) (2010-2014) and the Estates Reform Project (ERP) (2015-). The CERP resulted in 103 magistrates’ courts and 54 county courts being earmarked for closure. The ERP has led to the scheduled closure of 86 court and tribunal buildings. These latest closures are one part of Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service’s Reform Programme, which aims to improve access to justice by both modernising the court and tribunal estate and by making greater use of technology.

The Ministry of Justice published some statistics about individual courts and tribunals as part of its original consultation document for the ERP (2015-). This data is summarised in the Appendix tables. The first table shows the courts selected for closure by region. The second shows travel time statistics – the proportion of people able to reach the court in under an hour by car and by public transport. The third summarises statistics on utilization rates, accommodation adequacy and the estimated annual cost of running each court. An Excel file containing all of these statistics is available for download below.

The Government’s responses to the consultation are avalaible on the Ministry of Justice website.

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