English and Welsh Courts Move Online in £1bn Digital Justice Scheme

By Gary Cutlack on at

A shakeup of the court system in England and Wales is going ahead following successful trials, with more pre-recorded testimonies to be used and an option introduced for those happy to admit to being guilty able to log their confessions and be punished through the internet.

The £1bn scheme is not all about saving money. Trials appeared to show that witnesses found it less stressful giving evidence that was recorded and played back in the trial, also seeming to find it easier to recall events when not under the pressure of having to perform, live, in the courtroom.

The ability to admit to minor crimes online is being expanded too, with those guilty of some small crimes in England and Wales soon able to log in to their little crime accounts and see the evidence against them -- before declaring their guilt and paying the fine or turning up to clean the toilets in a hospital or whatever else is judged a fitting penalty.

Justice secretary Elizabeth Truss said: "We have the tools and the technology to cut unnecessary paperwork, to deliver swifter justice and to make the experience more straightforward. Most importantly these reforms will allow us to better protect victims and witnesses who can find the experience of reliving a traumatic event in court incredibly stressful." [Guardian]

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