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Samstag, 27.11.2021
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A new “courts digital transformation solution” will make missing court paperwork, long delays in accessing court records and hours wasted in court to schedule trials a thing of the past, the Ontario government announced Friday.

The Ministry of the Attorney General is in the process of procuring a system that Attorney General Doug Downey says will be a “foundational change” for a legal system that has been stuck in the past.

No price tag or timeline is yet available though Downey says it will be “possibly the largest investment in the legal system in the history of Ontario.” More information will become available once a vendor is chosen at the end of the fiscal year.

In an interview, Downey would not say whether there would be additional investment in the legal aid system as the Ontario courts struggle with significant case backlogs and a push to resolve more cases without going to trial. The Ford government permanently cut the legal aid budget by 30 per cent — $133 million — in 2019 and has not restored that funding or announced new funding despite repeated calls to do so by lawyers and judges throughout the pandemic.

Downey recently announced the government would spend $72 million over two years to address the court backlog, funding that will go in part toward hiring more court staff, including clerks and prosecutors.

Downey said a digital court system will save both lawyers and litigants the time and the expense of going to court for scheduling or to file documents. It would also allow easier access to public court records, he said.

“We want things to be accessible that should be public,” Downey said. “We don’t want to frustrate people through process.”

The transfer to a system that isn’t reliant on physical paperwork was welcomed by the chief justices of the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice.

“The investment in a long-awaited case management system is critically important to support a modern and effective justice system,” said chief justices Geoffrey Morawetz and Lise Maisonneuve in a news release. “The Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice are pleased to be partners in this important project that will bring the paper-based court system into the 21st century.”

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Alyshah Hasham

Quelle/Source: The Toronto Star, 05.11.2021

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