UK Courts face case backlog due to "not-fit-for-purpose" IT

Reports of cases being disrupted due to inadequate technological infrastructure

An issue with court IT systems left some cases across the UK unable to progress on Thursday.

Trials have been adjourned in London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, York and more because evidence stored on the court system could not be accessed.

Chris Henley QC, who chairs the CBA, told the BBC the computer systems used by the courts were "crumbling".

"Barristers and judges are growing very tired of cases being disrupted because of inadequate technological infrastructure," he said.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Criminal Bar Association said the Digital Case System had not been working in some areas, but on Twitter, The Secret Barrister posted a damning message with a list of the courts affected.

"Crown Courts across the country grind to a halt "again" due to the not-fit-for-purpose IT infrastructure produced by @HMTSgovuk and @MoJGovUK. Again - accountability. There's none of it. People's lives and liberties depend on a functioning criminal justice system."

The "again" portion of the tweet refers to a larger computer problem reported in January where courts were unable to access their systems for several days. A number of lawyers and practitioners told the Law Society Gazette that the systems were preventing cases from being processed and were also disrupting payments as lawyers couldn't log their attendance.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has said that the latest problem is different from what happened in January and that it had been resolved. But the MoJ has previously been accused of cutting corners with its IT upgrades.

In July, MPs warned that the MoJ risked botching its 1.2 billion digital transformation of the UK's court systems by driving through changes without fully understanding the impact on users and the justice system more widely.

The 1.2 billion project, which also involved centralising customer services and closing down a handful of courts, started in 2016 with the aim of modernising aspects of the justice system by implementing new technologies and working practices.

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now


Business strategy

What is digital transformation?

7 Aug 2019

Most Popular


How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
artificial intelligence (AI)

AI identifies 11 earth-bound asteroids

18 Feb 2020
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020
Business operations

HP shareholders invited to come dine with Xerox

17 Feb 2020