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Magistrates' courts undergo digital transformation

The installation of digital presentation technology in magistrates’ courts is initially taking place in 21 magistrates’ courts during September 2014. The full national rollout is due to take place across England and Wales over the next 12 months as part of the government’s ambition to get courts working digitally by July 2016.

The new technology is being delivered through the Criminal Justice System efficiency programme.

Those who need to present in court will be given access to “ClickShare” technology which allows the sharing of high quality digital material held on presenter-owned devices through a wireless link to in-court TV screens.

According to the government, this will make it easy to share and present evidence digitally for the benefit of defendants, victims, witnesses and the public.

The first installation has taken place already at Thames Magistrates’ Court in East London and further work is due to be completed in the early adopter area by mid-November.

A total of 21 sites will receive the technology in this period. These sites are in the early adopter areas: West Midlands, Croydon, South Wales, Northumbria, Merseyside, Essex and Hampshire.

It is hoped that any problems that arise during the early installations will be solved and managed before the national rollout.

Digital progress

In June, the Crown Prosecution Service outlined the role it has to play in ensuring the Criminal Justice System is digitised by 2016.

Towards the end of July, the Legal Aid Agency, a public body providing civil and criminal legal advice in England and Wales, chose business process provider Agilisys to support the justice system’s digital transition.

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