Consultation launched on management of minors’ and patients’ funds by courts

Date published: 13 February 2019

The Department of Justice today launched a public consultation on how funds under the control of courts should be managed in the future.

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The funds are currently managed by the Court Funds Office (the CFO) on behalf of individuals who need support to manage their financial assets

The CFO is part of the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) and provides a fund management service to approximately 13,000 people.  The funds held by the CFO are invested on the direction of the court in accordance with the Court Funds Rules.

The consultation will seek views on current arrangements for the management of financial assets.  

Peter Luney, Chief Executive of NICTS, said “There has been major change in the financial services sector since the legislation which governs how the CFO operates was enacted 40 years ago.  We want to ensure that the support offered by the CFO is the best fit for the twenty-first century and best meets clients’ needs.

“We wish to invite views on whether there is a better way to assist the individuals who need support in financial matters or indeed whether the current arrangements for managing funds in court remain appropriate.” 

The consultation document sets out details of the current arrangements and reasons for considering change, including:

  • An overview of Court Funds Office
  • An explanation of the approaches taken outside Northern Ireland
  •   Options for the future management of funds in court

It is hoped that responses to the consultation will help inform future decisions on the management of funds in court.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks and close on 8 May 2019.  The Department plans to undertake a number of public engagement events throughout the consultation period.

Notes to editors: 

1.  The consultation paper entitled Management of Minors’ and Patients’ Funds can be accessed at https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/consultations/management-minors-and-patients-funds and responses can be completed online through Citizen Space at https://consultations.nidirect.gov.uk/ni-courts-and-tribunal-service/management-of-minors-and-patients-funds

A hard copy of the consultation can be obtained by contacting:

Court Funds Consultation

Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service

4th floor Laganside House

23-27 Oxford Street

BELFAST

BT1 3LA

2. Consultation period will run for 12 weeks, 13 February 2019 to 8 May 2019.

3. Further information on the CFO can be found at:

 https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/court-funds-office

4. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned

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