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Court users


HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has been engaged in a comprehensive programme of court reform, designed to bring new technology and modern ways of working to the way justice is administered.

The 'Common Platform' is a key element in this programme: a new, digital case management system, bringing together all the relevant information about a criminal case for HMCTS, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Police, the Probation Service and other partner organisations within the criminal justice system. Once fully implemented, it will provide a single, collaborative digital platform for both Crown and magistrates' courts, cutting down on manual document handling and administrative process.

The following courts are expected to go live with Common Platform in the week commencing 31 October:

Canterbury Crown Court

Canterbury Magistrates' Court

Folkestone Magistrates' Court

Maidstone Crown Court

Maidstone Magistrates' Court

Margate Magistrates' Court

Medway Magistrates' Court

Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court

Any questions about Common Platform should be directed to the Crime Programme at


HHMCTS operational summary for week commencing Monday 12 December 2022

Next week's update will be issued on Monday 12 December 2022.

  • Updated. Find details of courts and tribunals opening times over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays HERE.
  • Updated: Prospero House, Borough High Street, London will close at the end of December. The site was used as a Nightingale court to support Southwark Crown Court when social distancing measures were in place and all court rooms could not be used. The lease expires 31 December; cases will be listed until 16 December. The work will return to Southwark. 
  • Reminder: Improved security processes are being piloted. Visitors to Inner London Crown Court, Bradford Combined Court, Maidstone Crown Court, Cardiff Crown Court and Liverpool Crown Court will be selected at random for a manual pat-down search when entering the building. Members of the Professional Users Access Scheme will not be impacted.


  • Updated:  From Monday 7 November 2022 the existing Proceeds of Crime Act Section on the Crown Court Digital Case System (DCS) will be extended to allow the uploading of Enforcement Applications under Section 11 (Application to extend time), Section 22 (Applications for Reconsiderations) and Section 23 (Application to reduce confiscation order). The standard file structure has been updated to reflect this.
  • Updated: The Common Platform case management system has now been implemented at more criminal courts in the West Midlands, Warwickshire and Kent. See the list of courts where it's going live.
  • Reminder: Defence solicitors and barristers can join regular online support sessions to get help with using Common Platform. HMCTS will answer questions, offer advice and help with troubleshooting. Sessions take place on Tuesdays at 4:30pm and Thursdays at 9am.


  • Updated: Listen to the recording of last week's Financial Remedy seminar HERE.  It provides an overview of the service and answer queries on submitting and managing applications.
  • Reminder: On Tuesday 13 December, HMCTS is hosting a webinar on the probate service for legal professionals. This webinar will provide an overview of the performance of the probate service in the past year, information on the latest data on applications and plans to improve the service as well as an opportunity for you to ask questions. Details HERE.
  • Reminder: Probate practitioners should submit all applications made on form PA1P or PA1A to: Newcastle Probate Registry, Kings Court, Earl Grey Way, North Shields, NE29 6AR. Find step-by-step guidance on applying for probate with MyHMCTS and on when to use the forms.
  • Reminder: The Probate caveat application process (to challenge someone else's probate application) has been updated to make it simpler and more consistent for all users. Probate practitioners and personal applicants can access the updated PA8A form to apply to stop an application for a grant of representation for up to 6 months and use the new PA8B form to apply for a caveat extension. All applications will need to be submitted to: HMCTS Probate, PO Box 12625, Harlow, CM20 9QE. Read guidance for more information on caveat applications.

Judicial guidance and announcements

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4 November 2022

Statue of justice figure with scales



  • Sign up for our webinar for the charity sector on probate which takes place on Tuesday 15 November at 1pm. This will provide an overview of the service and our future plans, and share data on applications.


  • Join our webinar for defence professionals on Thursday 24 November at 1pm and find out about recent progress we've made introducing the Common Platform case management system to criminal courts, plus our plans for further implementation.
  • Defence solicitors and barristers can join one of our regular online support sessions to get help with using Common Platform. We'll answer questions, offer advice and help with troubleshooting. Sessions take place on Tuesdays at 4:30pm and Thursdays at 9am - email us to book a session.

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