The Ministry of Justice has sped up its timetable to roll out Wi-Fi across all magistrates’ and Crown courts, as it moves forward with its programme to make courtrooms fully digital by 2016, it announced today.
The government said Wi-Fi will be available in all courts by October 2015, ahead of its original target date of March 2016.
Plans to install Wi-Fi in courts were originally announced in April 2014, as part of a £75m scheme to push justice into a ‘Wi-Fi era’.
The MoJ says the accelerated timetable puts the government ‘in a good position’ to get all criminal courts working digitally by July 2016.
This will allow, among other things, defendants to appear in court via prison-to-court video links for pre-trial hearings, prosecutors and defence lawyers to present cases from mobile phones; and submissions to be stored centrally and made accessible through digital devices, using Wi-Fi connections.
A map of the roll-out process suggests around 250 courts are 'status red'.