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National rollout of laptops to family courts

SPJ authorises national rollout

27 November 2019
National rollout of laptops to family courts

The Senior Presiding Judge, Lady Justice Macur, has authorised the national rollout of laptops across civil, family and tribunal hearing venues. Over 2,000 laptops will be rolled out from mid-November 2019 until June 2020; details will be sent to individual courts about when their kit will arrive.

The laptops will support the reduction of paper documents, by facilitating easier sharing of documents digitally, and enable judicial office holders, including family magistrates, to view electronic content during proceedings. 

This is part of the HMCTS Screens Project, which has responsibility for ensuring that non-salaried judicial office holders have access to a laptop, to access digital hearing bundles and other digital documents being used in court.

The Screens Project will provide portable laptops for family magistrates, civil, family and tribunal fee-paid judiciary, and tribunal panel members. They are Lenovo X390 laptops which can be used as either a conventional laptop or as a tablet and will be stored in a lockable charging cabinet located close to the courts or hearing rooms on the private side. They will be available for use in the building on the day of a hearing.

Laptops and charging cabinets will be delivered to 266 buildings which hear civil, family and tribunal cases. The list is available here. Over 2,000 laptops will be provided by June 2020.

The deployment of pool laptops will be in addition to the setup of screens or All-In-One Desktop Computers for presentations. Presentation screens in hearing rooms are yet to be deployed, they will be different for each jurisdiction and agreed with the relevant presidents and should not be changed by individual judges.

The rollout to sites started in mid-November 2019 and will run through until June 2020. Courts will be contacted on an individual basis when the laptops are to be rolled out.

The Screens Project is working with the Judicial Office and Judicial College to ensure that relevant training and awareness is available for magistrates. Other training (around usage of new digital products such as In-Court Presentation/Shared Storage etc) will be addressed as and when the services come on line.

For further information about how to use the laptops, please click this link.

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