News story

Crime news: defence practitioners need to sign up to CJSM

Secure eMail vital to work of crime providers with nearly 80% signed up.

Criminal Justice Secure eMail (CJSM) is vital to connecting the different parts of the criminal justice system (CJS) and signing up will be a contractual requirement of the draft 2015 crime contract.

CJSM is free at the point of use and can be used to exchange secure emails with:

  • criminal justice practitioners
  • criminal justice organisations
  • expert witnesses

Why is CJSM so important?

Without CJSM providers cannot comply with the Data Protection Act (DPA) when sending client details by email.

For example, CJSM is needed when requesting or receiving digital case files from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

It will also be a condition of qualification for our 2015 crime contract.

CJSM and the CPS

The CPS is already routinely using CJSM to send out the Initial Details for the Prosecution Case (IDPC) to practitioners’ firms.

Agreements are now in place to provide the IDPC digital file 48 hours before a client’s first appearance in court.

This will also be used for HM Courts and Tribunals Service professional court user wi-fi – allowing practitioners to access case papers digitally within the court house itself.

Contract requirement

As mentioned CJSM will be a contractual requirement of the draft 2015 Crime contract. This will require contract holders to:

  • have a CJSM account
  • use their CJSM account for all professional email communication across the CJS
  • request and accept all case papers from the CPS by CJSM alone – this includes IDPC

Using CJSM to full potential

Although take-up by crime providers is good – with nearly 80% signed up – many firms are not using CJSM as often as they can. Increasing the use of CJSM will help firms enjoy the full benefits of digital working.

Providers should also note that sending client details by non-secure means could lead to prosecution by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The Information Commissioner’s position is that where losses occur – and where encryption software has not been used to protect the data – regulatory action may follow.

See below for a link to the ICO’s website.

How can providers sign-up?

Registration takes about 7 business days to complete. You just need to return the signed terms and conditions and business sponsor information to get the process going.

Where providers already have an Exchange eMail Server on their own network, their SMTP connection to CJSM will be simple to achieve.

Further information

CJS efficiency programme: defence practitioners

CJSM – how to sign up

ICO – ‘Our approach to encryption’

Maps showing professional court user wi-fi sites