Criminal Proceedings

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 21st July 2015.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the use of collaborative technology in criminal court proceedings.

Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The introduction of collaborative technology in court will help transform the criminal justice system in England and Wales. This technology will allow parties in court to exchange information digitally for the first time. It also makes it possible for visual evidence to be presented to the court.

The two main programmes working to introduce collaborative technology into courts are the Criminal Justice Efficiency Programme and the Common Platform programme. Both programmes have measures in place to assess their effectiveness and accessibility as they develop new services. Court users have been involved in product design and testing throughout. No service has been implemented without extensive user testing – including users of assistive technology. The services have also been tested on a range of browsers and hardware. For the online plea service, public take-up and user satisfaction are recorded, and usage rates are published.

These programmes are laying the foundations of a reformed courts service that will provide swifter, more efficient, and more convenient access to justice. I am encouraged by their progress and my officials will continue to monitor their effectiveness as these reforms are rolled out more widely across the criminal justice system.

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