It seems that no industry is untouched by the current drive for going paperless, and although the goal set for the NHS may be the most high profile case of embracing document digitisation, the legal industry also has plans to adopt a paperless system, enabled by the use of legal document scanning. In 2013 it was announced that £160million was to be invested in the development of ‘digital courtrooms’ and better, more secure IT systems to help implement this change. Three years later, it seems that the improved efficiency that was envisioned by developing these digital courtrooms has in fact been realised by the courts that have trailed this new technology.
What is a digital courtroom?
The money invested by the government into the justice system is being used to give traditional courtrooms a ‘digital upgrade’ in order to handle cases more quickly and efficiently. This includes:
· Supplying a majority of the courthouses with good quality Wifi. This will help every member of court staff to access relevant documents easily.
· Installing Court Presentation and Collaboration Software which will allow even the most complex of Crown court cases to be navigated easily.
· Installing Digital Evidence Screens which will allow the defence and prosecution parties to display their accompanying documents much more clearly and quickly while also reducing the risk of important files being lost or damaged due to the fact that they will be stored digitally when using this process.
· Investing in better IT systems when needed, to support these plans for a paperless court system.
What are the benefits for the justice system?
Having improved access to the legally admissible documents used as evidence within a court case can ultimately speed up justice, while also improving the accuracy of the decisions that are made. With accurate, legal document scanning, every file is stored safely and securely in its digital format, available whenever it is needed. With a digital courtroom, waiting times are vastly reduced which benefits both the convicted party and the entire legal system.
Legal document scanning and digital management of files can make this vision of a paperless courtroom become a reality, and with more and more courts across the country slowly rolling out this scheme, legal firms that are looking to stay ahead of the industry trends can prepare for the widespread adoption of this technology by investing in legal document management services today.