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​Online court makes access to justice easier

Issued: Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Access to justice will be faster, easier and cheaper with the pilot of the State’s first Online Court, Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today announced.

The Online Court will initially be used for civil cases in the Local Court General Division and will eliminate the need for legal practitioners to attend pre-trial hearings in court.
Ms Upton said the use of online legal services which will improve access to justice and ensure services meet people’s expectations.

“We are witnessing a demand-driven service revolution across all areas of business and our community. People expect to be able to access services they need when and where they want,” Ms Upton said.

“The NSW Government is pioneering the use of online legal services in Australia. Our significant investment is bringing our courts into the 21st century, while respecting the traditions of the past.”

For the first time in NSW, legal practitioners will be able to make requests and seek preliminary orders, such as adjournments and hearing dates, with the click of a mouse.

The change will deliver major benefits to lawyers and their clients from suburban, regional and remote areas who will no longer have to incur travel costs to seek a preliminary court order.

The pilot is part of the NSW Government’s $9.2 million Justice Online Project which includes the Online Registry which was launched in February 2014.

Since the Online Registry began, more than 250,000 Supreme, District and Local Court forms have been lodged online. Nearly 5,000 people are also turning to the online registry or mobile app every day to search for court listings. More than 30 per cent of all transactions are now occurring after hours.

The Online Court will be piloted for 12 weeks and, if successful, will be rolled out further in 2016.