The government has confirmed a £1 billion programme to completely move to digitalise the UK’s justice system.
While some elements of the programme are already underway, the government’s Transforming Our Justice System report outlined plans to drive a “wholesale shift to accessing justice digitally”, which will enable online access to cases across the justice system.
“We will provide online access by developing a single online system for starting and managing cases across the criminal, civil, family and tribunal jurisdictions,” the report said.
“This will help people understand their rights and what options are open to them. Less visible to the public will be the widespread introduction of robust document and case management systems, to replace the highly inefficient paper filing systems of today – measures that will improve efficiency throughout.”
The overall aim of the transformation, the report says, is to create a system that allows the management of criminal cases from charge to conviction to be conducted completely online by linking courts to the criminal justice system.
Change of personnel
The digital transformation at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will take place under new leadership following the appointment of Tom Read as its chief digital and information officer. Read replaces Arif Harbott, who has been in his role at the MoJ since July 2015.
Read has been digital technology director and chief technology officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills since last year.
The MoJ’s permanent secretary, Richard Heaton, welcomed Read on board via Twitter, wishing him a “warm welcome” and praising Harbott for creating “strong digital and tech” at the MoJ.
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