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David Vascott

News, Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

Courts now share single information platform

Courts now share single information platform


Every crown and magistrates' courts in England and Wales can now access the 'Common Platform' system, enabling more efficient information-sharing in criminal justice cases.

The platform links courts, the Crown Prosecution Service and the police and is designed to reduce reducing burdensome administration and increase efficiency.

The Ministry of Justice said in a press release on 3 August:

Under Common Platform all relevant case materials will be available in one accessible place across all criminal courts – from arrest through to trial and, for those convicted, on to the prison and probation service.

This will help ensure that courts, police, prosecutors and legal professionals have access to one platform to track cases moving through the justice system, continuing the move away from time-consuming paper-based processes and separate IT systems.

It is a fundamental part of the government’s plan to modernise the criminal court system – bringing justice partners together in a way that has never been done before, improving collaboration and replacing outdated process.

The move will offer an improved flow of information between the courts to improve efficiency and help reduce outstanding caseloads to deliver speedier justice for victims and the public.

Justice Minister Mike Freer said:

“Common Platform is improving how we work to deliver justice. It will allow instant and seamless information sharing that will reduce errors and ensure vital details about cases can be seen quickly by all those involved in a case.

“Connecting every criminal court with partner agencies and professionals is helping make them fit for the future.”

Each user will only be able to see the information that is relevant to them. The platform also allows for changes and updates to a case to be made instantly, helping to make the justice process faster and more efficient.

The rollout of Common Platform has been delivered as a central part of the HM Courts and Tribunals Service Reform Programme to improve courts and tribunals for people who use them and for those working in them.

New features will continue to be added to further improve information sharing and data accuracy across the justice system.

The programme is transforming how the public interact with the justice system. Digital services in the courts and tribunals across all jurisdictions have been used over 2.1 million times so far, making services easier to use and more efficient to run.