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Minister calls for video evidence expansion

Minister calls for video evidence expansion

A minister has called for the justice system to move with the times and harness modern technology.

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said the emphasis needs to shift from outdated court buildings to telephone and video conferencing if the system is to move forward.

He claimed the justice system was lagging behind the rest of society in its embracing of modern technology and called for the Government to look into it "sooner rather than later".

His words came while giving evidence to MPs over the proposed closure of 103 magistrates' courts and 54 county courts.

The proposed closures account for 40% of the 530 currently open, but the minister said that England and Wales had "moved away from the Victorian idea that there would be a court in every town".

Speaking at the Commons' Justice Select Committee, he said: "I don't see the future as being in bricks and mortar. The more I look at this, the more I would say that the justice system has not kept up with society generally in terms of use of technology.

"I think that at some point, and I think we should look at this sooner rather than later, we are going to have to catch up. And that means, particularly, more use of telephone and more use of video conferencing."

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