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In search of 21st-century courts

Despite ongoing headaches, the move to digitise and modernise the courts of England and Wales is beginning to proceed at pace, writes Nicholas Heaton

22 September 2017

Despite their international standing, the civil courts of England and Wales are not exactly known for being at the forefront of technology. They are, however, beginning to adopt a style of working fit for the 21st century which should help to attract and retain international commercial litigants.

The courts in the relatively new Rolls Building bear little physical resemblance to those in the Royal Courts of Justice, and they lead the charge towards digitisation. E-filing of claims and other court documents using the CE-File system was made mandatory in the Rolls Building courts in April, after low take-up of a voluntary pilot run before that. Some may have been sceptical about the capability of CE-File to handle (nearly) all of the filings in the Rolls Building, but it appears the experiment has worked.

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