Improving justice through new technology

The Justice Minister saw first hand how new technology is being used at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court to improve the justice system.

Feb 7, 2013
By Paul Jacques

The Justice Minister saw first hand how new technology is being used at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court to improve the justice system.

Video-technology is currently used between the court and 12 police sites which enables vulnerable and intimidated witnesses to give evidence in a separate location to the defendant and allows police station to court witness links and prison-to-court links to save the expense of transporting offenders to court.

Damian Green was also shown how prosecutors are using tablets like iPads with a ‘bundling tool’ which allows them to easily navigate through case material rather than trawling through vast amounts of paperwork – saving significant time and money.

Mr Green said Maidstone Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had “done a fantastic job implementing video-technology which has helped speed up court cases, made it easier for vulnerable witnesses to give evidence and delivered savings in time and money”.

“I want the justice system to respond more effectively to the needs of victims, witnesses and professionals and what I have seen is a great example of this being delivered locally,” he added.

Other initiatives include the ‘Speedy Justice Pilot’ that enables low-level crime cases to be heard within 24 hours and ‘specified proceedings courts’ which give police the authority to deal with low-level crimes such as motoring offences without the CPS.

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