Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Local court closures threaten access to justice

30 Jan 2015
APIL news
Plans to close several courthouses across Northern Ireland have been met with dismay by lawyers, who say access to justice will be severely limited for vulnerable people.
The Department of Justice Northern Ireland (DoJNI) revealed yesterday (29 January) its proposals to close eight courthouses in a bid to reduce costs.
“Access to good local court facilities is vital for people who need to use the justice system,” said Martin Hanna, Northern Ireland representative of national not-for-profit group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) which campaigns on behalf of injured people. 
“Most plaintiffs will already have to travel a fair distance, and now they will be expected to travel even further, adding costs and stress to the already daunting experience of having to go to court. 
“It’s not just the people who lose their local courthouse who will be affected. I also fear for the strain on the remaining courthouses which will have to pick up the workload. People whose local courthouse survives the cull could face long delays brought on by the extra work. The workload will not be reduced, but the facilities to cope with it will be. It’s a recipe for chaos and must not happen”.


Notes to editors:

  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • •Follow @APIL on Twitter:

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Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Iman Anthony
0115 943 5431