Practice and Procedure

The DPP on Radio 5 Live talking about digitising the Criminal Justice System

PUBLISHED November 22, 2011

Responding to an anonymous London defence barrister on Radio 5 Live this morning, who raised concerns about not being provided with a hard copy of his 50,000-page case file, the DPP, Keir Starmer QC said: ?We are, across the Criminal Justice System and particularly in the CPS, moving from a paper based system to the digital file. Your case is obviously one ?we do about a million cases a year, there are hundreds of millions of pages of evidence moved around the country, copied to every court in the country every day. It?s a hugely inefficient exercise. Almost every other profession, almost every business has moved to a digital way of working long, long ago. ?What we?re doing in our big cases is serving material digitally, I?d much rather serve a CD with fifty thousand pages on it so that someone can look at it in a digital way than serve fifty thousand pages as a bundle, copied many times and shipped round London in a lorry. So I don?t apologise for trying to move in to the twenty first century, we?ve arrived a little bit late. ?This, it seems to me, is the modern way of prosecuting and frankly the sooner we get to the digital file and work in the same way that everybody else works the better. There will be some bumps along the way and I do understand the concerns you may have but I?m afraid this is part of an agenda to modernise Criminal Justice and I?m an advocate of that.?