HMCTS Weekly Operational Update - Week commencing Monday 2 August 2021

HMCTS weekly operational update

HMCTS weekly operational update for week commencing Monday 2 August 2021

Next week's update will be issued on Friday 6 August 2021.

  • Updated: On Tuesday 27 July 2021 we held a panel event with legal professionals on how we are responding to Step 4 of the government's roadmap out of national restrictions in England. A recording of the session is now available to view.
  • Updated: On Tuesday 27 July 2021 we published the independent evaluation of the Flexible Operating Hours pilot. The pilot which took place between September 2019 and March 2020 was carried out at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and Brentford County Court.
  • Updated: The number and location of our temporary Nightingale courts will be changing over the coming weeks as we reach the end of venue-hire contracts. We're continuing with as many Nightingale courtrooms as possible where there is an operational need. We're extending 32 Crown Nightingale courtrooms to April 2022.
  • Reminder: From 21 March 2022, all types of physical punishment of children will be illegal in Wales. The Welsh Government have shared resources ahead of the change.
  • Reminder: We have published our updated guidance for all court and tribunal users during the COVID-19 pandemic, our Organisational Risk Assessment and assessment tool, and how we're keeping our buildings safe, secure and clean.
  • Reminder: We actively encourage our staff and all court users to continue with twice-weekly asymptomatic rapid testing regardless of their vaccination status. We also encourage individuals to take a free, rapid lateral flow COVID-19 test before coming to a court or tribunal. These are free and readily available in your local area, or to order online. Anyone who tests positive should self-isolate and follow the latest NHS advice.


  • Updated: Common Platform is now live in 101 courts (32 Crown Courts and 69 magistrates' courts). 44% of all criminal courts are now managing cases on Common Platform.
  • Updated: In August, Common Platform is scheduled to roll out to a further 2 regions covering 16 courts in the South West and the Midlands. We continue to prepare all sites for readiness in advance of going live, including the relevant police forces. We evaluate progress at all live sites and adjust the approach to roll-out if necessary.
  • Reminder: We prioritise setting up Common Platform accounts according to where legal professionals are based. Solicitors and barristers who work at courts due to go live with Common Platform soon will have their account set up expedited. If you work at a court which isn't due to go live for a while, your account will still be set up, it might just take a little longer. If you work at a court that is already live and you don't have an account, let us know and your account will be set up urgently.
  • Reminder: Defence professionals can download the Initial Details of the Prosecution Case (IDPC) directly from Common Platform, instead of requesting this from the Crown Prosecution Service. You can also upload case documents directly to Common Platform. If you're working on a Common Platform case, please use this feature instead of emailing documents to HMCTS or our service centre.
  • Reminder: Defence solicitors and barristers can use the Common Platform professional check-in feature in both the Crown Court and the magistrates' court. This records your name against the court record for Legal Aid Agency payment purposes, and informs the judge, legal adviser or court clerk that you are in attendance. Watch our video guide to find out more.


  • A new feature is being rolled out to the online civil money claims (OCMC) system, which allows judges to draw direction orders digitally. Judge draws directions order (JDDO) allows judges to draw digital directions orders via OCMC for cases that are valued between £300.01 and £10,000. The feature has been rolled out across the North East and South East and is being introduced to all other regions over the next few months.
  • On Monday 19 July 2021, the Royal Courts of Justice and Upper Tribunal Project switched on the E-filing service for the following Queen's Bench District Registries: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. E-filing allows external users to issue and file documents, pay court fees, review and track their cases online. The proposed date for mandatory use of the service by legal professionals is Monday 18 October 2021. Further information on the practice direction has now been published.


  • Updated: From Monday 26 July 2021 all C110a applications for care and supervision orders for Coventry Combined Court Centre, Swansea Civil Justice Centre and Worcester Combined Court must be made online using the Family Public Law service.
  • On Tuesday 13 July 2021, we published our response to the consultation on the future of Medway County and Family Court. We confirmed that Medway County and Family Court will relocate to the Medway Council buildings at Gun Wharf once enabling works are completed. As an interim measure, the Holiday Inn (Rochester – Chatham) is operating following our exit from the existing court building in June 2021.


  • As part of work to enhance our online service, solicitors and other legal professionals can now pay immigration and asylum tribunal fees quickly and easily using payment by account (PBA) on MyHMCTS. PBA has been operating in other HMCTS jurisdictions for some time. It provides a fast, free and secure method of payment. Find out how PBA works and how to register is available online. We welcome feedback in our online exit survey or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Our Employment Appeal Tribunal E-Filing service went live on Monday 12 July 2021. The President has published a guidance note on electronic filing of documents online.

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