The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) rollout of wi-fi in magistrates’ and Crown Courts across England and Wales is taking place faster than first expected.
The government has now revised the official live date from March 2016 to October 2015, when all 302 sites will be equipped with the new technology.
As part of the Criminal Justice System Efficiency Programme, Professional Court User (PCU) wi-fi is being delivered to the courts, placing Whitehall in a good position to reach its target of all criminal courts working digitally by July 2016.
“In the courtroom, digital working reduces the need for documentation to be provided in hard copy formats for hearings and trials. This saves money and encourages more efficient working,” claimed a MoJ statement.
Those using this system will be able to access PCU wi-fi and their own IT systems with the aim of improving collaboration across the Justice System.
The MoJ claims that the new Internet is faster, but also especially valuable because it offers providers the option of submitting CRM14 eForms for online criminal legal aid applications.
PCU wi-fi also enhances the ability to complete and submit legal aid application while in the court building.
Other elements included in the Digital Criminal Justice System include digital evidence submitted by Police wearing body-worn video cameras or using devices such as tablets to collect evidence at crime scenes.
The courts are also set to make more use of modern technology such as video links in order to make the justice process as quick and easy as possible to help victims and witnesses.