The Royal Court is undertaking a programme of digital transformational to bring its systems and processes up to modern working practices across all of our functions.
There are several drivers to this programme of work:
•To ensure efficient and accessible Justice for all
•Bring the Guernsey legal system to modern ways of working
•Simplify processes for professional users
•Ensure Guernsey’s dispute resolution system can measure itself against other competitive jurisdictions
•Reduce running costs
The Programme of work has been broken down into three key headings for simplicity.
•Front of House
Digital front of house (on-line) platform, integrated back office platform and embedded automation. To cater for requests for birth certificates, payment of fines, Marriage notices, litigants in person and other such engagements with the general public (fundamentally).
An online E-bundling system, feeding into a case management system incorporating a digital Court calendar, and fees generation module. This element will allow for a digital end to end Court process, in all areas of Law whether it be Criminal, Civil, Family, Commercial or Conveyancing. This will need to be accompanied by requisite hardware in the Court rooms to facilitate digital working and presentation of cases, with the intention to become entirely paperless.
•Digital Strong room
An online database for all elements of strong room research including births, deaths, Conveyances, Wills and Bonds, with documents visible in PDF form, accessible anywhere.
We have been doing preparatory work over the last year internally and have now employed two business analysts for a three month period, to build our case for change and requirements for future working. This work is ongoing with a deadline of the end of April 2021 to produce a Business Case highlighting our preferred options for future working. We are also in regular contact with project teams at the Courts in Jersey and the Isle of Man who are proceeding down a similar path, so we can share learning and best practice.
Initial meetings have been undertaken with key stakeholders such as the Batonnier, Law Officers of the Crown and other external organisations who are closely linked with the Royal Court to inform everyone we are proceeding down this route and start gathering information to help build the future of Justice working in Guernsey. It was felt important that the Chamber of Commerce were aware of the work we are undertaking as it is recognised that when pitching Guernsey as a jurisdiction to external parties, the quality of the Islands dispute resolution is a relevant factor. Our aim is to make an efficient, accessible and cost effective Justice system for all, using digital as an enabler.
This is fully recognised as a considerable piece of work and our resources are finite so we will not be able to address everything at once. We will look to proceed by selecting areas where we can achieve most benefit for all in the most effective manner.
We will be using the Royal Court website to give general updates on our progress, but if anyone has specific questions or input they would like to provide please feel free to feed back to the Royal Court so we can capture as many views as possible.