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Courts’ Common Platform goes live


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Common Platform digital case management system has gone live in the first courts in its roll out programme.

HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) has announced that it is now being used in Derby Crown and Magistrates’ Courts, and Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.

This has been accompanied by the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre (CTSC) in Birmingham beginning to manage administrative work in support of magistrates’ courts. Staff have been trained and are now handling the calls and emails regarding Common Platform cases.

An online registration service for defence professionals to use the platform has also been set up.

The next go live with Common Platform will be Bristol Crown and Magistrates’ Courts, followed by North Tyneside, Mid and South-East Northumberland Magistrates’ Courts, and Newcastle Crown Court.

It will be introduced to a series of other early adopter courts before rolling out to all criminal courts across England and Wales.

Secure information access

HMCTS said the system provides secure access to the most up-to date case information for all the parties involved in criminal cases – including the judiciary, solicitors and barristers, the Crown Prosecution Service and court staff.

Kevin Sadler, acting chief executive of HMCTS, said: “The Common Platform will provide smarter, more joined up and more streamlined processes and help us deliver more effective and swifter criminal justice for all.

“This is a key milestone in our Reform programme, that will improve efficiency and reduce the generation of physical paperwork aiding the delivery of justice.

“I’m very proud to see the beginning of the rollout of Common Platform to courts, as I know it will deliver benefits for us and our partner agencies along with everyone involved in the criminal justice system.”

The system will eventually replace a number of existing software applications, including Libra, XHIBIT, Bench, Court Store and Digital Mark-Up, and will cut down the need for paper documents.

Its development fell foul to a series of delays, taking it past the original completion date of July 2018. During that year is was the subject of a critical report from the National Audit Office, which pointed to the expected financial benefits turning into a projected deficit.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0


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