Minister hails digital justice success

4 Jan 19

People are increasingly using digital tools to access justice services such as divorce, probate and civil money claims, according to ministers.

There were 150,000 uses of online justice services last year and more than 300,000 have done so over the last four years, the government said.

Public feedback has been positive, according to the government, with 85% of people reporting they are happy with the new divorce service, 93% for probate and 89% for civil money claims.

Justice minister Lucy Frazer said online services were making a difference.

“It’s encouraging to see people are reporting these services work well for them and are a better-fit around their busy lives,” she said.

Since its launch in April 2018 there have been 23,000 applications made to the Divorce Online service, and 39,000 to the Civil Money Claims Online, set up in March 2018.

Divorce Online has cut errors in application forms from 40% to less than 1% as well as reducing the process by an average of half an hour.

The reforms are part of a £1bn scheme from the government to bring new technology and modern ways of working to the justice system.

The government plans to have 100 services available digitally by 2020.

The reform programme has so far delivered a pilot of video hearings in tax tribunals, an in-court system to record the results of cases digitally and instantly as well as piloting a digital system to share information between the police, Crown Prosecution Service, courts service and legal professionals.

But the Public Accounts Committee found last summer that the government has “cut corners” in its plans to modernise courts.

Read Kim Thomas’ feature for PF on the progress of the government’s digitisation of the justice system.

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