Law Officers’ Department record keeping (FOI)
Law Officers’ Department record keeping (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 26 April 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please explain how the law office department and the courts keep record of their cases (court / prosecutions / sentences and so on).
Is this is a database, spreadsheet or paper records?
What generic information is kept and how can this be queried?
Who has access to this information and what performance metrics / analysis is conducted?
A to D
This response reflects records held by the Judicial Greffe which is a scheduled public authority under the Freedom of Information (FOI) law. However it does not include information from the Law Officers’ Department and Bailiff’s Chambers which are not scheduled under the law.
The courts fulfil a very wide range of functions all with their own legally prescribed procedures, record keeping obligations and confidentiality requirements. The administration of the courts is managed by teams who support a particular range of functions, often associated with a division of the court such as Magistrate’s Court, Petty Debts Court, Youth Court, Royal Court, Court of Appeal, Family Division, Probate and Protection Division, Public Registry, Licensing Assembly, Master of the Royal Court, Intellectual Property Register. There is also an administration team which provides support across the department. Each team have their own information management systems designed around the court or administration functions they support.
Many court processes may still be initiated and conducted with paper, so we do keep paper records, however the majority or record handling occurs using standard computer based office applications with electronic document records maintained on shared electronic drives or in the cloud. Indexes, lists and summary information about a particular function will be maintained in electronic files such as spreadsheets or, if the volume of transactions makes it economical, in a database. For instance, the Public Registry, Probate and Protection and Family Division all have dedicated databases to manage their records and the civil case journal which records hearings and decisions for civil cases is kept in a database. Team members can query and retrieve information using standard search tools on shared drives and by use of indexes maintained in electronic files or databases. A major project to move to fully digital courts is underway with CaseLines (Cloud-Based Legal Evidence Management Platform - CaseLines) already being rolled out which allows completely electronic presentation of cases in court and a Case Management System in procurement which will deliver a robust electronic framework for administering all cases at the court service.
Team members have full access to the secure paper stores, areas of the shared drive or cloud and database applications necessary for carrying out their particular work. Outside of the team charged with a particular function, technical support staff and senior managers have access to the information held by a team only to the extent necessary to fulfil their roles in the management and governance of the department.
Performance data is collected to support the metrics and analysis required to deliver the Service Pledges for the Court Service published on the www.gov.je site at the following link:
2021 Service Pledges Acts of the Court (gov.je).