04 Sep 2014

Lady Dorrian launches "The Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland"

Lady Dorrian launches "The Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland"

Leonie Donald, Partner, analyses Lady Dorrian’s speech at the launch of ‘The Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland’. 

Leonie Donald, Partner, analyses Lady Dorrian’s speech at the launch of ‘The Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland’. 

An important step forward was taken by the Scottish Judiciary in a speech given by Lady Dorrian at the launch of ‘The Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland’ on 20th August 2014. In her speech, Lady Dorrian was keen to emphasise that, contrary to some outdated beliefs "both the judiciary and the Scottish Court Service are keen to pursue, and pursue vigorously the current agenda to ensure that our justice system embraces the digital revolution – and indeed anticipates where it might take us next.”

It is predicted that by embracing technology, unnecessary delays in the processing of cases will be avoided and communication with parties will be simplified and expedited. It is incredibly encouraging to note that the Judicial System is considering using more technology in the legal process.  Lady Dorrian's comments that one way to ensure the attendance of witnesses at court may be to carefully use technology, particularly when there is now an expectation on public services to use these mediums to bring the public up to date with modern business.  

In the days where there is a huge demand for ‘Justice for all’, Lady Dorrian is right to acknowledge that technology can greatly assist in making it easier for all to participate in the legal system.

Any traditional ‘court lawyer‘ will understand that going paperless is not always possible; with a number of documents still being required to be printed and physically lodged at Court. However, inroads have been made with the use of e-motions and the ability to lodge documents in Commercial actions by email.  Any further steps to reduce the need for paper and more antiquated means of commutation should be embraced.  

If we can take Lady Dorrian's summary to heart, the future of the digital judiciary is very exciting - for lawyers and for all court users. She concludes by saying:"So the view from the Bench, and from the Courts more generally, is this: we are excited by the opportunities that digital innovation may bring – to speed up our procedures; to make justice more accessible and more manageable; to improve the quality of the evidence placed before the courts; and to maintain, or even enhance, the credibility and trust placed in the justice system by Scottish society."


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