Improving case and jury management through online systems, expanding videoconferencing, and piloting online guilty pleas in the Magistrates Court, are expected to be developed in 2014-15, according to the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General (DJAG) 2013-14 Annual Report.
DJAG also cited improved use of videoconferencing in the criminal justice sector resulting in quicker and more cost efficient outcomes, and stated that its online family history research service is serving 600-650 customers a week.
Since March 2012, DJAG has implemented reforms including:
- Opening the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, which is expected to enhance technology for trials;
- Launched its own website (Your rights, crime and the law) to provide customer information on legal rights, obligations and the law; and
- Made over 1.3 million birth, death and marriage records accessible online – with an intent to move another 5 million online by 2015.
DJAG’s Renewal Plan 2014-15 lists a One-Stop Shop online for safety and compensation services as a joint initiative between Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland and WorkCover which will combine online incident notifications and claim forms. DJAG will also focus on developing electronic records management for court documents, subpoena management, and enforcement warrants.
The Department is in the process of building a 10 year ICT Roadmap to “enhance use of information technology to drive seamless service delivery”. This will satisfy Recommendation 121 of the Queensland Government’s 2013 Commission of Audit which stressed making “greater use of ICT to drive cost savings and efficiencies in court operations.”