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Courts: Digital Technology

Volume 624: debated on Tuesday 25 April 2017

20. What assessment she has made of the effect of increased use of digital technology in the courts system on the effective delivery of justice. (909814)

We are investing over £1 billion to create a straightforward courts and tribunals system so that people can have confidence in using the system themselves or with the help of their excellent lawyers.

The current reliance on printed documents in civil courts burdens people with significant unnecessary costs, and the UK is lagging behind many countries, including Australia and even Turkey, in the use of innovation and technology in civil claims. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that we must speed up the process of digitising courts in England and Wales if we are to retain our place as a world-leading provider of legal services?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, and I do agree. We are making progress. We have equipped our criminal courts to work digitally, reducing reliance on paper bundles, and we are doing the same in the civil courts. So far we have saved, in one year, an enormous pile of paper. Devotees of these questions will know that I measure this by the height of the Shard, and we have now saved 4.3 Shard-loads of paper.