Chief Justice highlights online initiatives at launch of Courts Service annual report
The Chief Justice of Ireland, Mr Justice Frank Clarke, highlighted a number of initiatives to create a stronger online presence for the courts at today’s launch of the Courts Service annual report for 2018.
The report highlights an increase in domestic violence complaints, strong sentences in rape cases, a huge reduction in personal injury awards, as well as good performance for the Court of Appeal and other courts efficiencies.
Mr Justice Clarke highlighted the Courts Service’s work to advance long-planned projects including electronic filing of documents, online access to court registers and systems to enable online payment.
Speaking at the launch, he said: “In a changing world, we must ensure that the courts of Ireland continue to maintain our reputation for competency and efficiency as we deal with over 400,000 criminal and 200,000 civil matters annually.”
The new Criminal Justice Operational Hub has seen work on the electronic sharing of information across the justice sector to improve the quality and timeliness of information available and reduce duplicate data entry.
At the end of 2018, proposals were being prepared on the feasibility of electronic lodgement of charge sheets with the courts, the sharing of court lists electronically with the Prison Service, and the provision of all court results electronically to the hub agencies.
Video link was used to cut out the need for prisoners to be escorted to courts on 3,362 occasions, and an extended e-licensing system for pubs, cafés, clubs and hotels began to be rolled out.
The budget for the courts in 2018 was €135 million, while the courts generated almost €50 million in income through fees. The net cost of operating the courts in 2018 was €85 million.