https://insidehmcts.blog.gov.uk/2018/11/28/summary-justice-speeding-up-and-simplifying-the-system/

Summary Justice – speeding up and simplifying the system


[English] - [Cymraeg]

In my last blog I told you about our project called the Single Justice Service and our plans to improve summary justice. Summary justice involves less serious offences where there is no right to a jury trial.

The Single Justice Service will have all the new services needed by the magistrates’ court when using the Single Justice Procedure. The Single Justice Procedure allows for a single magistrate sitting with a legal adviser to process adult summary-only, non-imprisonable offences for “guilty” pleas and “proof in absence” cases, such as speeding, vehicle excise duty and fare evasion.

Over the last year we have made great strides in developing the Single Justice Service so that it is accessible and easy to use for everyone who needs it. I would like to share some of these successes with you.

Our new digital case management system

We have developed a new online digital case management system to handle Single Justice Procedure cases. This means we no longer need to print thousands of sheets of paper each week and staff are not spending hours preparing and transporting files to and from court. This has been operational in Lavender Hill Magistrates Court since April 2017 for Transport for London (TfL) cases such as failing to pay for or not producing a ticket on buses, trains and tubes.

Since April 2017 there have been over 24,000 cases processed using the new system and in the coming months we will be expanding this to other non-Police prosecutors such as TV Licencing.

Entering a plea online

Early this year we introduced a new online plea service for defendants being prosecuted by Transport for London. This means that cases can be heard much more quickly. In one case a defendant pleaded guilty online and within four days had received outcome of the case and was able to pay their fine. This is vast improvement from the postal method which takes at least twenty-nine days.

This new service went live in April 2018 and we have seen a steady increase in the number of pleas being entered online (we recently passed the 1200 mark). User feedback is important and helps us make improvements to the service. We have received some excellent feedback so far, with 77% of people saying they are highly satisfied with the service.

Here is some of the comments from people who have used our new online plea service:

It’s very useful to be able to do it online and not have to go through the hassle of the postal system. The layout was clear and everything had a useful explanation with it.

It helped me understand my situation I was in and answered all the questions I had.

Very simple to use, makes life easier.

Support for users

We know that not everyone finds it easy to go online so that is why giving people support is important to us. We have recently set up a dedicated team based at North Staffordshire Justice Centre to deal with calls from people who need guiding through the process.

Feedback

I hope you found this update useful. We would like to hear your thoughts or even suggestions for further blogs. Please leave your comments below.


[English] - [Cymraeg]

Cyfiawnder Diannod – gwell profiad i’n defnyddwyr

Yn fy mlog diwethaf, soniais am ein prosiect o’r enw Gwasanaeth Un Ynad, a'n cynlluniau i wella cyfiawnder diannod. Mae cyfiawnder diannod yn cynnwys troseddau llai difrifol lle nad oes hawl i dreial gerbron rheithgor.

Bydd gan y Gwasanaeth Un Ynad yr holl wasanaethau newydd sydd eu hangen ar y Llys Ynadon wrth ddefnyddio'r Weithdrefn Un Ynad. Mae'r Weithdrefn Un Ynad yn caniatáu i un ynad eistedd gyda chynghorydd cyfreithiol i ddelio â throseddau lle mae oedolion wedi cael eu cyhuddo o gyflawni troseddau diannod, na ellir rhoi dedfryd o garchar amdanynt ar gyfer pledion “euog” ac achosion "profi mewn absenoldeb", megis goryrru, trwydded ecséis cerbyd a pheidio â thalu am docyn.

Dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf rydym wedi gwneud camau mawr i ddatblygu'r Gwasanaeth Un Ynad fel ei fod yn hygyrch ac yn hawdd i'w ddefnyddio ar gyfer pawb sydd ei angen. Hoffwn rannu rhai o'r llwyddiannau hyn gyda chi.

Ein system ddigidol newydd ar gyfer rheoli achosion

Rydym wedi datblygu system ddigidol ar-lein newydd ar gyfer rheoli achosion i ymdrin ag achosion Gweithdrefn Un Ynad. Mae hyn yn golygu nad oes angen i ni argraffu miloedd o ddalenni o bapur bob wythnos ac nad yw staff yn treulio oriau'n paratoi ac yn cludo ffeiliau i'r llys ac oddi yno. Mae hyn wedi bod ar waith yn Llys Ynadon Lavender Hill ers mis Ebrill 2017 ar gyfer achosion Transport for London (TfL), fel methu â thalu neu ddangos tocyn ar fysiau, trenau a threnau tiwb.

Ers mis Ebrill 2017 mae dros 24,000 o achosion wedi cael eu prosesu gan ddefnyddio'r system newydd ac yn y misoedd sydd i ddod byddwn yn cyflwyno hyn i achosion eraill nas erlynir gan yr heddlu, fel Trwyddedu Teledu.

Cofnodi ple ar-lein

Yn gynnar eleni cyflwynwyd gwasanaeth pledio ar-lein newydd i ddiffynyddion sy’n cael eu herlyn gan Transport for London. Mae hyn yn golygu y gellid gwrando ar achosion yn gyflymach o lawer. Mewn un achos, plediodd diffynnydd yn euog ar-lein ac o fewn pedwar diwrnod roedd wedi cael canlyniad yr achos ac roedd yn gallu talu ei ddirwy. Mae hyn yn welliant enfawr o gymharu â phostio dogfennau gan fod y drefn honno’n cymryd o leiaf naw diwrnod ar hugain.

Cafodd y gwasanaeth newydd hwn ei roi ar waith ym mis Ebrill 2018, ac rydym wedi gweld cynnydd cyson yn nifer y pledion sy'n cael eu cyflwyno ar-lein (fe wnaethom basio 1200 yn ddiweddar). Mae adborth gan ddefnyddwyr yn bwysig ac yn ein helpu i wneud gwelliannau i'r gwasanaeth. Rydym wedi cael adborth ardderchog hyd yn hyn, gyda 77% o bobl yn dweud eu bod yn fodlon iawn â’r gwasanaeth.

Cefnogi ein defnyddwyr

Rydym yn gwybod nad yw pawb yn ei chael hi'n hawdd mynd ar-lein, felly dyna pam mae rhoi cefnogaeth i bobl yn bwysig inni. Yn ddiweddar, rydym wedi sefydlu tîm pwrpasol yng Nghanolfan Gyfiawnder Gogledd Swydd Stafford i ddelio â galwadau gan bobl sydd angen cymorth i fynd drwy’r broses.

Adborth

Gobeithio bod y diweddariad hwn o ddefnydd i chi. Hoffem glywed eich barn neu eich awgrymiadau ar gyfer blogiau pellach. Nodwch eich sylwadau isod.

5 comments

  1. Comment by Caroline O'Hare posted on

    Please introduce use of the SJP to other matter types such as low level fly tipping, failure to hand waste to a controlled waste disposal company etc.
    Many of these low level enviocrime matters dealt with by local government would be perfect for SJP rather than defendants who mainly plead guilty coming to court or facing a warrant for their arrest.

    • Replies to Caroline O'Hare>

      Comment by Mike Logan posted on

      Caroline, the Environment Agency is already using SJP for some of their offences (fishing licence cases) but we are working with them to explore using it for other summary non-imprisonable environmental offences. However, there may be circumstances (e.g. seriousness of offence or where a victim is involved) where it may not be appropriate for SJP to be used.

  2. Comment by David Goodman posted on

    The single justice procedure is not transparent, the public are not able to see that justice is being done. Often it isn’t, judging by the huge increase in statutory declarations by people who have been convicted without knowing anything about the proceedings. As for fly-tipping, it is a serious offence, causing immense harm to the environment.

    • Replies to David Goodman>

      Comment by Mike Logan posted on

      David, whilst the public are not able to view the SJP session, transparency of the process is maintained. The courts still continue to post up lists of pending SJP cases in the public area including identity of the defendant, offence and prosecutor. The court is also obliged to email this list to the local media.

      Results of SJP cases are also sent to the local media. If a member of the public wants to information about the outcome the local court or SJS Centre can provide this information. This mirrors the arrangements set out under Rule 5.8 of the Criminal Procedure Rules which covers transparency for other hearings.

  3. Comment by Shelagh Lyth posted on

    The SJP process is suitable for s87 littering which is a summary only offence and has been used in Lancashire for the last 12 months. (The digital system is not yet up and running, but it is being explored) It is also being used for section 444 (1) summary-only truancy cases and some s80 EPA breach of abatement notice matters.
    It can not be used for the more serious either way offences such as section 33 or section 34(2A) EPA 1990 all of which are loosely referred to as 'flytipping'. Admittedly there can be a vast range of seriousness from large commercial type offences to the breach of householder duty one bag of waste. However, the accumulation principle makes even the smaller deposits serious as one bag can attract others .