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Government publishes digital justice strategy

20 August 2014

The digital future of Scottish justice has been mapped out in a new document publishd by the Scottish Government.

A short paper, The Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland, describes how ministers intend to "use digital technology to transform the way in which we deliver justice services in the civil, criminal and administrative justice systems in Scotland".

It sets out three main objectives. The first is to allow people and businesses to access information on a range of areas of interest, to inform their decisions and help them resolve any disputes that arise, or that is relevant to any court case. 

Under the second objective, "fully digitised justice systems", the paper declares the ambitions to digitise everything from warrants to the recording of evidence, a secure digital platform for all information relevant to a case, and extensive use of videoconferencing across the justice system, complete with target dates.

The third objective is greater use of data analysis to "drive further transformation as the capabilities offered by digital technology are understood and grow".

However the paper also recognises the continuing need to provide alternatives for "offline" users to continue to access justice, along with the need to support vulnerable individuals.

And a series of principles is set out covering digital standards, security and other matters.

"We recognise the important role which the legal profession and advice sector have in this and we will work closely with them to deliver our objectives", the paper adds.

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