For the last twelve months defence practioners have been making it clear to Ministry of Justice, HMCTS, CPS and the LSC that there are serious issues with both CJSM and the CPS T3 Programme which in the view of the CLSA must be addressed before the CPS efficiency programme can be taken forward.
We are now less than 4 months from the planned implementation of the T3 programme across the country (1st April 2012) and most, if not all, of the issues highlighted have not been addressed. It remain unclear as to the precise nature of what is intended to be implemented in April 2012.
The CLSA has published a policy document making it clear that the following must be addressed urgently and satisfactorily before T3 can go forward:
- Free secure wifi provided in all courts thus enabling access to both secure e mail and the Repository from Courts by Defence Advocates.
- The storage of data transmitted by secure email in a cloud computing data centre based in the UK is permitted
- The storage of data transmitted by secure email on mobile devices is permitted
- Recognising that over 60% of first appearances in Magistrates courts appear from Custody, appoint the Duty Solicitor, appoint their solicitor at court on the day or are unrepresented, paper copies of Advance Information will be provided for the first hearing in all cases where electronic AI has not been received more than 24 hours before the first appearance.
- Sufficient mains electricity power points for the needs of the prosecution, defence, probation and court staff will be provided in all court rooms
- Subject to 4 above the service of documents less than two working days before any subsequent hearings will be by paper copies as well as electronic service unless otherwise agreed with the recipient.
- Every secure email to a web CJSM account will be preceded by an unsecured email to the recipient's normal email address
- The storage facility of the web CJSM accounts will be increased to a useable working size.
- Prisons and the secure estate will permit solicitors with appropriate identification to use of lap tops and other mobile data storage/display devices in prison without the current cumbersome process of individual approval and the restriction of devices to ones which do not have a webcam or 3G connection etc
- PECS Contractors will permit the use of laptops and other mobile devices for the storage/display of data in cells at Courts.
- That the MoJ in consultation with other Government departments, particularly the Department for Business , Innovation and Skills via its Public Sector Innovation remit, make full funding available to Defence Solicitors to enable the upgrade of both Hardware and Software (including encryption, Security etc) to an approved standard.
- That the issue of transferred costs from the CPS and Police Budgets to Defence providers be addressed by an appropriate increase in the administratively set rates in Legal Aid Cases.
- That the CPS and other Prosecuting agencies subscribe to an enforceable protocol with the Defence and HMCTS that ensures that it will deal promptly with all e mail correspondence and will serve all Evidence, unused Material, applications etc in a properly paginated form with the necessary NAE and will do so within agreed time limits to avoid the risk that thebenefits of new technology allow these things to be done at the last minute. That the requirements of LSC for PPE will be satisfied by the pagination from the CPS Bundler software
- That all technology be compatible thus ensuring that the use of one piece of digital technology does not interfere with another.
- At all courts sufficient secure storage facilities should be made available to Court Users for the storage of Laptops and other equipment which cannot safely be left in courtrooms but cannot conveniently be moved around court buildings.
- That sufficient interview facilities be provided in all court centres / Police Station virtual courts as a result of the fact that laptops etc will be used (including connection to mains electricity supply and wifi access).
- That the position of the LSC on the Peer Reviewing / Auditing of electronic files and electronically stored files be clarified. That the use of Digital files is acceptable.
- That the inbox size and attachment size of Secure e mail be enlarged from its present inadequate size.
- That the T?s and C?s for secure e mail and the operation of T3 be drafted in such a way as to ensure that all client information (subject to confidentiality and privilege) is secure from access by other government agencies (other than subject to the appropriate order of the court).
- There shall be no requirement to use secure e mail mandated in the next LSC Contract.
- There shall be no requirement to subscribe to a separate protocol or undertaking for the use of Secure e mail either in individual cases or at all.
- All courts/ interview facilities in HMCTS buildings be equipped with secure anchor points for Kensington locks.
- All prisoners in the secure estate have private access to receive all privileged correspondence electronically and store this securely to read and review whenever required.
- That disclosure of video evidence will be made by streaming and / or by downloading the relevant files which should be playable via a commonly available platform