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And so, farewell…

By J

The MoJ has published the list of county courts that will be closed in England and Wales. The BBC has the full list here (it includes county courts and magistrates’ courts).

The government claims that 85% of people will still be within 1 hr (by public transport) of a county court, but, to paraphrase a great man, that seems to me to be using statistics as a drunken man uses a lamppost – for support, rather than illumination. As anyone who has ever defended a rent arrears possession in, say, Kidderminster County Court can tell you, the odds of your client making it to Kidderminster are remote and the odds of making it to Birmingham (which, presumably, is where the work will go), at a cost of several pounds in public transport, are, to put it mildly, vanishingly small.

And so we say, so long Epsom, farewell Redditch, au revoir Cheltenham and auf wiedersehen Kidderminster. I’ve got no doubt that the government has a great plan to ensure all of your citizens have access to high quality justice. They just haven’t told us what it is yet.

J is a barrister. He considers housing law to be the single greatest kind of law known to humankind and finds it very odd that so few people share this view.


  1. NL

    Mayors and City of London is spared, though. I’m rather pleased about that, even though I’ve had some very odd things happen to cases there.

    • J

      There are some very well connected Judges at Mayors and City…

    • Simon Marciniak

      Mayors and City deserves World Heritage Status!

  2. simplywondered

    i always rather liked mayor’s. nice and handy for central london too. (i mean central london per se not clcc). take your coat though and remember to talk posh.

  3. Bouncer

    Ah – Justice for Small – the new strap line for legal aid….

  4. Michael

    Another twist in the Con-Dem travesty! Time to get the hiking boots out, I guess! :-\

  5. JS

    I have to say I won’t miss Chorley .

  6. S

    While it probably isn’t appropriate to allow this thread to descend into which county courts we hate the most, I will not miss the trip to Harlow.

  7. MarkRay

    “Court reform: delivering better justice” – does the Ministry of Justice deliver “better justice” like the Ministry of Truth delivered accurate historical information?

  8. Chris J

    I turned up at Cheltenham one day and there were 12 people (or so) crammed into the miniscule waiting room. I asked who was here for Cotswold District Council – everyone put their hands up!(my client wasn’t there – she turned up late)
    ..but seriously I agree with J – who will make it from Kidderminster to Brum etc?

  9. simplywondered

    “Court reform: delivering better justice” – does the Ministry of Justice deliver “better justice” like the Ministry of Truth delivered accurate historical information?

    they must mean juster justice.


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