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Attorney General Doug Downey

Courts Digital Transformation initiative provides ‘on-demand access’ to legal matters, Downey says

Friday, November 05, 2021 @ 2:24 PM | By Amanda Jerome

On Nov. 5, the Ontario government announced the “Courts Digital Transformation initiative” for the Superior and Ontario Courts of Justice. The initiative is described as the “most significant single step forward in the digital evolution of justice in Canada, replacing outdated paper-based procedures with an online platform to manage cases, documents and schedules.”

According to a government release, the initiative will “allow court users to:

  • digitally access court information 24 hours a day from anywhere
  • submit and view documents online
  • file even more court documents in more types of matters
  • have easier, faster access to court records
  • schedule matters and appearances
  • pay fees online
  • receive decisions electronically”

Attorney General Doug Downey said in a statement that the initiative is “a game-changer that will provide Ontarians with on-demand access to their legal matters.”

Attorney General Doug Downey

“Building on numerous recent breakthroughs, this central piece of the Justice Accelerated Strategy will provide the tools needed to better meet expectations for how justice can be done in 2021 and beyond,” he added.

According to the release, the initiative will “equip court participants, including members of the public, lawyers, self-represented litigants, judicial officials and court staff, with capabilities to help people resolve legal matters faster and easier.”

“The new end-to-end digital system will be designed around user experience and will feature online self-service, integrated case tracking and streamlined court operations,” the release added.

Geoffrey Morawetz, Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Lise Maisonneuve, Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, in a joint statement said the “investment in a long-awaited case management system is critically important to support a modern and effective justice system.”

“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,” the added.

The release also noted that Ontario has “nearly doubled its funding for Community Legal Education Ontario to expand Guided Pathways, which are online, interactive tools that help Ontarians complete court forms easily and accurately.”

The technology “powering the Courts Digital Transformation will be selected specifically for Ontario’s courts following the completion of a competitive procurement process, which is now underway,” the release explained.

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