Justiclink putting our courts online

THE Tweed Heads Local Court will become more efficient when a new computer system is introduced in coming months.

According to the New South Wales Attorney General John Hatzistergos, a revolutionary online computer system will ensure swift justice throughout the state.

This month, 55 of the state's largest local courthouses will be given access to the new JusticeLink system, and will automatically share details on all criminal matters with other justice agencies and higher courts. Another 70 courts will join the system within three months.

“Magistrates and registry staff working in local courthouses across NSW process hundreds of cases everyday,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

“Despite having the heaviest workload in Australia, the Local Court of NSW has the lowest backlog, according to the Productivity Commission.”

“To ensure that criminals continue to be brought to justice in a timely manner, and to reduce the chance of clerical error, it is important that information about court cases be shared between agencies electronically.”

Mr Hatzistergos said as part of JusticeLink, court attendance notices will be downloaded from the police to the courts on an hourly basis, while the outcomes of court proceedings are transferred back to police twice daily.

Local Courts will also electronically share case files with the District and Supreme courts, which have already been connected to the system.

Mr Hatzistergos added that in coming weeks electronic information about fines and traffic offences will be instantly available to the courts, the Roads and Traffic Authority and the State Debt Recovery Office.

In some higher courts, prosecutors and defence lawyers have the ability to log into a JusticeLink bulletin board, where they type their arguments. The judge is alerted to their posts by email and then logs in to make determinations.

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