Friday, August 5, 2016

Judge John Tanzer and eJudiciary

Our good friend, Sir Henry Brooke posted an excellent post on the impact that fellow jurist John Tanzer had on the adoption of IT in the English courts.


Sir Henry writes:

“Judge John Tanzer, lately a Circuit Judge based at Croydon Crown Court (where I sat 30 years ago as a Crown Court Recorder), retires today.   Indeed, he retired from court sittings four months ago.  Since then he has been engaged full time in taking forward some of the judicial IT projects he has promoted over recent years, including one called ejudiciary, which I will describe below.  His contribution has been, to put it very simply, massive.”

He continues:

The first, as I have said, is called ejudiciary.

Its fundamental concepts were, and still are, that it should be a judicial IT system which was:

  1. Independent from that of the civil service;
  2. Accessible from any internet connected device irrespective of the nature of the device or the physical location of the user;
  3. Usable either through a web browser by simply typing in [the URL] or capable of being integrated into desktop and mobile applications;
  4. Capable of operating as a One Stop Shop for all the resources needed by a judge;
  5. Built on existing proven off the shelf technology;
  6. A subscription service subject to constant automatic updating and therefore not ossified by expensive requests for services; and, finally
  7. The provider to full time judges of up to five copies of the latest version of Microsoft Office software.

The core system was designed and built at effectively zero development cost by a representative of HMCTS, two representatives from Microsoft and John Tanzer himself. It is based on Office 365 for Business.

John has shown me how it is laid out.  This gives the flavour:

Sir Henry also notes that The other initiative is concerned with eBundles and the Digital Court System (DCS).

Please read the rest of his post to learn about how these systems work.  I especially like the electronic versions of the file “yellow sticky notes” that they incorporated into their design.

Well done Judge Tanzer and all the best in retirement.

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