Legal Aid

CJS efficiency programme: new email guidance

PUBLISHED June 6, 2013

Working group agrees guidance about emailing clients in criminal proceedings

New guidance on emailing case information to clients has been published (see below).

The document explains key points to bear in mind including:

  • Data Protection
  • Client access to a personal computer
  • Safe and secure encryption

Guidance for emailing clients during criminal proceedings? was agreed by a working group including members of the:

  • CJS Efficiency Programme
  • Legal Aid Agency
  • Law Society
  • Criminal Bar Association

Saving files sent by CJSM Secure eMail

An issue raised by many defence practitioners is about the storage of information which has been sent by CJSM Secure eMail.

The answer is that there is no restriction on the movement of sensitive personal data from CJSM to case management systems or online storage owned by defence practitioners.

However, defence practitioners who transfer information do need to remember their obligations as data controllers under the Data Protection Act (see below).

General digital working advice

A general guidance document called ?Guidelines on Digital Working for Defence Practitioners? has been developed from frequently asked questions. It looks at issues such as Secure eMail, security and working on the move (see below).

Sign up to court pilots on digital working

The CJS Efficiency Programme has been busy testing digital working in selected courts by looking at:

  • Secure wi-fi in the magistrates? and Crown Court
  • A means of presenting evidence or information digitally in the magistrates? courtroom and retiring rooms
  • A means of presenting evidence or information digitally in the Crown courtroom combined with a collaborative working where practitioners can view cases electronically

The courts taking part in the six month trial are Birmingham Magistrates? Court, Chelmsford Combined Court and Croydon Crown Court.

Personal recording equipment in court

Defence practitioners have asked about taking recording devices into court and draft guidance is now being looked at by the Judicial Office.

Further information

Visit the CJS efficiency defence practitioners page to download:

Guidance for Emailing Clients during Criminal Proceedings ? new document

Guidelines on Digital Working for Defence Practitioners ? revised document

Information Commissioner?s Office ? Data protection principles

Data Protection Act 1998