HMCTS outlines digital progress

Family Law|October 27th 2017

The CEO of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has outlined progress towards the development of online court facilities.

In a new blog post, Susan Acland-Hood explains that the Service has now launched a first set of internet options, called “online routes to justice”. These deal with applications for divorce and probate, as well as social security, child support and tax appeals,

The development is part of a larger package of court and tribunal reform, which even includes renovations of ageing court buildings.

The next 18 months will constitute stage two of the project, explains Acland-Hood. The current online divorce application system will be expanded from a private test run (known as a ‘beta’) to public one, and then HMCTS plans to add the option to make financial remedy applications using the same system.

Acland-Hood adds:

“[The next stage] also means starting a new set of projects – for example, delivering digital systems to support public family law cases from end to end.”

The ultimate aim will be to allow unhappy spouses to process uncontested divorces entirely online, and for the heirs of deceased people to apply for probate online as well. Probate is the legal authorisation of a will.

Turning to adoption and fostering, the CEO explains:

“We are now beginning work on a new project on public family law, working closely with local authorities, practitioners and groups representing those who have been through the system, to support seamless digital working to and through court, so that evidence can be submitted, bundled and shared electronically and cases can be managed much more securely and effectively.”

A paperless document system will enable evidence to be presented n court via digital means. At a later stage HMCTS hopes to broadly increase the digital management of care cases.

Read more here.

Photo by Patrik Nygren via Flickr

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