A Ministry of Justice report says defendants will in some cases be able to use digital channels to have their cases determined in Magistrates courts.
People won’t actually be convicted by a computer algorithm.
The individual will need to enter personal data – such as date of birth, prosecution Unique Reference Number and National Insurance Number – to confirm their identity, and the MoJ says the system will be “designed to the highest standards of digital security“.
They also stressed that the online system is entirely voluntary, with defendants who opt out, able to have their case dealt with via the Single Justice Procedure (SJP) or heard in court.
As the report further explains, “This procedure will therefore only apply to cases which already generally require minimum involvement from magistrates and would otherwise be decided by a single magistrate on the papers without the need for a court hearing through the SJP”.
The MoJ statement concluded: “We consider that it is in the interests of all court users to have clear-cut, wholly uncontested cases dealt with without any unnecessary delay, thus allowing magistrates more time to consider more complex cases.”
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