Judges and courts are unclear about how unrepresented defendants will be able to gain access to their papers once the court becomes fully digital, criminal justice inspectors have warned.

A joint probe by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary on the IT systems used to prepare and present criminal cases also raised ‘concern’ about gaps in the systems.

The joint report, Delivering Justice in a Digital Age, also noted that defence solicitors had been reluctant to invest in technology because of uncertainty over legal aid contracts.