‘Making the Place for Justice’ – A new strategy for the Courts and Tribunals Estate

Date published: 04 December 2023

The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) has launched its strategy for modernising its venues and preserving the historic listed buildings in its estate.

‘Making the Place for Justice’ sets out the roadmap for how NICTS will use data and evidence to prioritise investment in its buildings in the years ahead. 

The strategy aims to improve user experience, resilience, value for money and sustainability, to deliver improved facilities for everyone who attends or works in the court and tribunal estate. 

Permanent Secretary at the Department of Justice, Richard Pengelly CB said: “I am delighted to introduce the NICTS Estate Strategy 2023-2030 which sets the foundations for the delivery of an ambitious and extensive programme of work.

“The collective age of our court and tribunal estate is a staggering 2402 years, with the oldest court building in Enniskillen dating back to 1785. Whilst significant work has already been undertaken in recent years, there is still much to do to provide an estate that meets modern standards in a sensitive and considered way. 

‘Making the Place for Justice’ reflects how we will develop the courts and tribunals estate to support increased digitalisation; new ways of working; and enhanced service design, as well as recognising the need to prioritise investment to address the environmental and financial challenges we face in Northern Ireland.”

In 2021 the Department of Justice published a vision for the modernisation of courts and tribunals. This vision recognised the need to deliver a reconfigured and modernised physical court and tribunal estate to support new ways of working and to meet the expectations of users.

In conclusion, Richard said: “The outcomes we seek can only be achieved through partnership working with the judiciary, our staff, justice partners and those within local and central government. We need to determine how we sustainably meet demand and deliver practical, innovative and affordable solutions whilst understanding what our users really need.

“This strategy is a first milestone in that journey to modernisation and to embracing an evidence based and prioritised approach to achieve the best outcomes for our users.”

The ‘Making the Place for Justice’ Estate Strategy 2023-2030 is available on the Department of Justice website: www.justice-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-courts-and-tribunals-service-estate-strategy-2023-2030

Notes to editors: 

1. NICTS is an agency of the Department of Justice which supports the administration of justice. It employs over 900 staff and supports the work of a judicial complement of over 70 salaried and 600 fee paid judicial office holders.

2. The 2023-2030 strategy has four principal aims:

  •   Improve User Experience
  •   Improve Resilience
  •   Improve Value for Money
  •   Improve Sustainability.

3. These aims will inform how NICTS manages its estate which consists of 24 buildings across Northern Ireland, with 88 court and tribunal hearing rooms, 182 consultation rooms and a spatial footprint of 850,000 square feet.

4. Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office at press.office@justice-ni.gov.uk

5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

6. Follow us on X/Twitter @Justice_NI

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