Headlines: May 11th, 2000

Judges peering at monitors as lawyers make points sitting at their desks was part of the 21st century vision of the courts presented by David Lock, Minister at the Lord Chancellor’s Department, to the Law School at the University of West of England. Video links will become an important part of the court’s system and play a significant role in reducing costs and increasing efficiency. The same technology would be used for meetings with savings in travelling time and expense. Exchanging documents electronically would also deliver savings and increases in efficiency.As well as technology, the forces driving change in the courts are rising customer expectations and Government reforms. In October 2000 only lawyers who have contracts with the Criminal Defence Service will be able to represent assisted clients. This will guarantee quality assurance for those using criminal legal aid