Cloud-based evidence sharing platform will help Jersey enhance access to justice and deliver a ‘digital first’ court service
Thomson Reuters announced today that The Jersey Court Service has selected CaseLines Digital Evidence Center as its cloud-based court exhibit and evidence sharing platform for use in the island’s Courts and Tribunals. As part of the Court’s Digital Transformation Programme, the implementation of CaseLines is the first step in a complete digital overhaul for the courts. The CaseLines platform will revolutionise the way in which documents and evidence are presented and displayed in court to help streamline hearings. Introducing this software will significantly reduce the use of paper in court and will be the beginning of a variety of changes introduced throughout the courts service over the next few years.
The procurement of an electronic bundling and evidence sharing platform became a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly during lockdown, when criminal justice simply had to continue, despite restrictions to enforce social distancing. The use of video-conferencing technology and CaseLines to facilitate the digital sharing of court bundles to Judges, Jurats and Advocates was essential in enabling hearings to continue securely and effectively.
CaseLines gives all litigants, including those acting in person, the ability to easily provide documents to the court and to all other parties electronically for any hearing and even during a hearing itself. This ensures that hearings can progress efficiently and reduces the administrative burden for all involved, which has proved to be of particular benefit during periods of lockdown. In addition, the platform will also strengthen Jersey’s reputation as a leading financial centre, allowing for the efficient hearing of international cases.
The CaseLines platform was introduced and used in several civil and criminal hearings during a proof of concept which ran for three months in 2020. Judges, Jurats and Advocates tested the use of CaseLines on a range of devices in a variety of different court locations. Jersey is now rolling out the system for use across all its courts and tribunals on a phased basis beginning later this month.
Timothy Le Cocq, Bailiff of Jersey, said: “We are embarking on a modernisation programme that will help make justice more accessible and efficient. The use of CaseLines in recent hearings has allowed all parties to participate by accessing material online rather than on paper. In one case, the length of the hearing was significantly reduced, finishing half a day earlier than scheduled. The introduction of this software is a major step forward for Jersey’s courts and tribunals.”
CaseLines offers the highest levels of security, paramount for handling sensitive court information. Built and run on Microsoft Azure, all data for the Jersey Courts will be stored in UK-based Tier 4 data centres, in full compliance with data storage sovereignty requirements. The scalability of the cloud-based architecture makes CaseLines suitable and affordable for jurisdictions of all sizes. It offers maximum flexibility and security for use both on premise and for remote working and ensures the secure authentication of all authorised user devices.
Andrea Kilby, Business Development Director, CaseLines, added: “COVID-19 has been challenging for courts around the world and Jersey is a great example of a forward-thinking small jurisdiction which is transforming access to justice. The implementation in Jersey shows CaseLines’ flexibility in delivering value for jurisdictions and courts of all sizes. CaseLines will also broaden the capabilities of Jersey’s Courts, introducing the way forward of operating a mixture of both virtual and in-person hearings.”
A case management system, integrated with CaseLines for use across Jersey’s courts, is expected to be selected later this year.
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For more information on CaseLines Digital Evidence Center, visit: www.caselines.com