Defendants will be able to admit guilt by e-mail

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Defendants will be able to plead guilty by e-mail under a £94m scheme designed to bring the legal system into the 21st century and save court time.

Defendants will be able to plead guilty by e-mail under a £94m scheme designed to bring the legal system into the 21st century and save court time.

The system was unveiled yesterday at Kingston Crown Court where many of the innovations are to be piloted, including the first electronic link between court and prison. Prisoners will be able to remain in their cells for simple remand and directions hearings granted over the internet by a judge. This, the Government hopes, will help to reduce escapes. But judges will not be able to pass sentence online ­ the guilty must appear in court.

David Lock, a minister in the Lord Chancellor's Department, pledged to spend £94m on modernising courts, which he said would save court time.

Kingston's £500,000 hi-tech courtroom is preceding the modernisation of all 78 Crown Court centres by 2005.