The Government has set a target for April 2012 for the criminal justice system to ‘go digital’, with the secure electronic transfer of case files between the police, prosecutors and courts becoming the norm, replacing the traditional paper legal bundles used in courts.
The Government believes the new technology will save money and make the justice system more efficient. The step forward towards to ‘paperless courtrooms’ has been led by the Crown Prosecution Service Wessex region, which covers the Isle of Wight, Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. Government departments already send information securely and this technology, including methods to encrypt sensitive information, will be used by courts in the future.
However 30 of the UK’s largest criminal firms have sent a letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions threatening to boycott the scheme unless their concerns are met, in particular the costs required to invest in this new technology.
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