Posted: 24th August 2016
Author: Emily Bower

Clickshare – Digital Working in the Family Court

Kieran and I attended the presentation on ClickShare at Portsmouth Family Court on the afternoon of 28th July 2016.

ClickShare allows evidence held on any digital device to be presented in court via a plug and play system or through the free ClickShare App on a mobile/tablet device. This means that pink tape and carrying a large number of bundles to court may well become a thing of the past if the new digital system proves that ebundles are as efficient and user friendly as the system makes it look.

One of the main advantages to having an ebundle is that with a single click everyone in the courtroom including the Judge and the witness will be on the same page, hopefully making cross-examination a much quicker process. There will also be no issues with incorrect pagination or storage/transportation of large amounts of paperwork.

ClickShare works by connecting your own device to the extended desktop in the courtroom and plugging in the ClickShare Dongle to your laptop which uses a USB connection. You will need a VJ or a HDMI connection to connect to the extended desktop screen. Therefore IPad’s will not work with the new system. You will need a laptop with Windows XP (or later version) or Apple software and the ClickShare app will work on Iphones and Android. With one click you can then share emails, maps, audio and video recordings, digital images, and word/pdf documents.

The system is currently being piloted in the Portsmouth Family Court and I understand that the first final hearing with the use of a PDF ebundle is being tried and tested this month. Courts 2, 5 and 8 have been fitted with the new equipment and extended desktops.

Digital working in the Family Courts has already been set up in Bournemouth, Poole and Nottingham, and is something that has worked well in the Criminal Courts over the last couple of years as part of the government’s ambition to get the criminal courts across England and Wales all working digitally by July 2016.

See article on the digital reform in the Telegraph which comments on the Digital Justice report that “courtroom technology has the potential to improve the delivery of justice, reduce costs and help to improve efficiency.

Link to the article and report is below:-

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/digital-leaders/future-series/12209650/courtroom-technology.html

http://www.reform.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Digital-Justice_WEB.pdf

At present there is no date to roll out the use of ebundles in all cases in the Portsmouth Family Court – it is very much a trial at the moment. It will remain to be seen how this would work if there are litigants in person involved in a Family case.

Emily Bower