News story

Crime news: national rollout for Crown Court Digital Case System

Successful use in early adopter areas paves way to national rollout by 31 March 2016.

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The Crown Court Digital Case System (DCS) is being expanded nationally following its successful use in early adopter areas.

The online system is currently being used in:

  • Leeds
  • Southwark
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Isleworth
  • Woolwich
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • Reading
  • Portsmouth

National rollout will dovetail with the Better Case Management (BCM) initiative, which is introducing new processes to deliver speedier justice.

The aim is for all hearings to be conducted using DCS with local areas agreeing a start date of no later than 31 March 2016. Local implementation teams from HM Courts & Tribunals Service can confirm dates in your area.

What is the DCS?

The DCS is an online system which reduces the amount of paper flowing through the criminal justice system. Case material can be accessed, prepared and presented digitally by the judge, clerk, defence, prosecution and probation. The prosecution, defence and HMCTS are all able to upload information into the software. Court users working digitally are able to access, navigate, annotate, and present their case.

Navigation of the bundle is simplified and bookmarks and notes can be created which allow you to:

  • highlight key arguments or evidence
  • assist in summations
  • help with cross examining
  • provide quick links to key documents

Users can decide and control the privacy level of any notes or annotations.

How do I get training?

A training site is available to bring you up to speed – see link below.

We recommend that practitioners complete the modules in advance of the first hearing where they are expected to use DCS. There is no need to wait until you have been instructed on a live case.

How do I access the DCS?

The system is web-based and the defence will access case materials by being invited to do so by HMCTS. However, practitioners will need to have a live individual CJSM account to register for DCS.

How will I submit claims?

You will still have to submit evidence using material generated by the prosecuting authority. The Legal Aid Agency can then assess and validate LGFS and AGFS claims for Crown Court work in the usual way.

Evidence includes:

  • committal bundle or NAE front sheets endorsed with the CPS/prosecuting authority page count
  • index of evidence
  • paginated pages
  • any other objective evidence generated by the prosecution

DCS allows you to extract the above information using an LAA report button.

Further information

Online training for Crown Court Digital Case System – for online training modules and quick desk guides

CJSEfficiency@cps.gsi.gov.uk – enquiries about CJS efficiency programme

Rollout starts for Crown Court Digital Case System – news article dated 28 October 2015

Better case management rollout in England and Wales

Published 3 December 2015