September always brings a fresh, new-term feel - even for those of us who may have long-since left education! It feels timely to take advantage of new learning opportunities, be open to new experiences and apply fresh thinking to existing projects.
Over the summer, many colleagues, friends and family will have been fortunate enough to travel abroad, perhaps experiencing new and exciting cultures, communities and customs.
Broadening our horizons is also beneficial to HMCTS and we continue to learn from justice systems around the world. Many other countries share our ambition to use technology to improve access to justice and support for those who need it.
International collaboration helps us to build relationships with experts in modernising justice systems. It enables us to pool our knowledge and discuss solutions to shared challenges. It also increases the visibility of our Reform Programme around the world.
We’re planning to build on those relationships and create new collaborations over the next few months.
New South Wales calling
There aren't many obvious comparisons between the UK and the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) - famous for its golden beaches and endless sunshine.
But did you know that Australia's justice system is based on the common law system, which originated here? This means that judges make decisions after considering previous judicial decisions.
The NSW Justice Department recently contacted us after reading a previous blog about international collaboration. They manage a range of digital systems used by courts and tribunals across 164 sites in a state with a population of 8.1 million.
HMCTS representatives from different jurisdictions will be meeting them online next week. They'll be sharing their Reform Programme experiences and learning from their Australian counterparts.
Hosting international visits
Courts and tribunals across England and Wales are often invited to host international visitors from around the world. Working with our partners in the judiciary, it's an opportunity to showcase our work and offer a look behind the scenes.
Over the next few weeks, our court staff will host a range of visits, including prosecutors from Singapore and judges from Spain and Korea.
We’re grateful to the many staff involved in these visits. Visitors always receive a warm welcome and our colleagues provide invaluable insights into the inner workings of our justice system.
Over the summer, Nick Goodwin, our Chief Executive, hosted the New Zealand Justice Secretary, Andrew Kibblewhite. He was keen to learn about our experiences and innovations within the justice sector, as his country faces similar challenges. Andrew also met colleagues within the Ministry of Justice, including the Permanent Secretary.
HMCTS HQ in Petty France also hosted a delegation from the Taiwanese Department of Judicial Administration and representatives of their embassy. They visited the offices in London following an earlier visit to the Royal Courts of Justice.
In previous blogs, we’ve demonstrated the benefits of working together to develop innovative solutions to shared challenges. Ultimately, we're all striving to improve the efficiency and fairness of our justice systems and often have more in common than we first think.
We're committed to continuing that cycle of learning, welcoming opportunities to learn from others and being open about our own justice system and the challenges we face.
For more information about HMCTS’ involvement in international work please contact the communications team in the first instance.