Court IT issue delays trials in England

Back of a barrister's head

An IT issue left some trials across England unable to proceed on Thursday.

Lawyers told BBC News that trials had been adjourned because evidence stored on court systems could not be accessed.

HM Courts Tribunals Service said its supplier had “made some changes” and users should “be seeing an improvement”.

A larger computer problem was reported in January, when courts across England were unable to access their systems for several days.

Image caption

The Digital Case System said users may experience “slowness”

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) said the Digital Case System had not been working in Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and York, among others.

Problems were also reported at the Old Bailey.

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Chris Henley QC, who chairs the CBA, said the courts’ computer systems were “crumbling”.

“Barristers and judges are growing very tired of cases being disrupted because of inadequate technological infrastructure,” he said.

As well as trials being postponed, some lawyers were unable to perform other duties because they could not access the information they needed on the central database.

The Ministry of Justice said the problem was different to what had happened in January and had been “largely resolved”.