Legal experts get switched-on to digital working


Barristers from across two counties are learning more about plans for a digital CPS next week (Monday 30th January 2012).

CPS Mersey-Cheshire is hosting an event for colleagues from Barristers' Chambers based across Cheshire and Merseyside, in a bid to get more using on-line systems to manage cases.

Paul Whittaker, Chief Crown Prosecutor who is hosting the event said: "CPS Mersey-Cheshire has been at the forefront of developing a digital CPS since the initiative started last year.

"Our aim is for our service to be using electronic methods to receive, review, process, prepare and present as many of our cases as possible by April 2012. Paper files will soon be very much the exception in CPS Mersey-Cheshire.

"We have made huge progress with the police, courts and probation service and weve been working hard to get defence solicitors on board. Our colleagues from the Criminal Bar are keen to find out more about what were doing and how they can join our digital revolution.

Paul Whittaker will be joined by Mark Barrington, from the Crown Prosecution Services national Strategy and Policy team at the event. They will be detailing the background to the programme, sharing the Area's current position and explaining how electronic working can help make the justice process more effective, less costly and more efficient.

Mr Whittaker said: "I believe that we will be one of the first to press the button on a fully digital service. Our witness care unit is already completely electronic and is seen as best practice nationally.

"We have been receiving files electronically from the police some time now, all of our first appearance hearings are now fully digital and two-thirds of our early guilty plea cases are managed without recourse to paper."

Mr Whittaker added: "Our prosecutors have presented hearings from tablet-style devices in local Magistrates' Courts and Liverpool Crown Court was the first Crown Court in the country to go digital for the day last year."




For more informaiton contact Sharon King, Area communications manager on 0151 239 6465.