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The trouble with technology and the courts

The cost associated with new technology and the speed at which change happens is partly to blame for Ontario’s judicial system not keeping up with advances, Toronto criminal lawyer John Rosen tells Law Times TV.

Rosen, founder of Rosen & Company Barristers, says the fact the judicial system in Ontario isn’t fully integrated with technology isn’t just about what it costs to purchase equipment.

“It’s about the money (needed) to install it in courtrooms that were built not for technology,” he says in the video posted on the website. 

“Technology advances so quickly and there are so many changes, almost on a daily basis, purchasing the equipment by the courts is a big outlay and then it becomes redundant, or outdated so they’ve wasted all that money.”

Law Times notes how “technology may be rapidly advancing in the world, but the legal system is having trouble keeping up.

“Fax machines, videotapes, a lack of Wi-Fi in the courtrooms, and hard copy printouts are the norm in the criminal and civil court systems,” Law Times says.

Ontario’s Attorney General Yasir Naqvi says he has plans to advance technology in the provincial system and notes e-filing is permitted for some cases. 

“I’m of the view that I would rather get this right rather than to rush into it, as long we’ve got a plan and we’re working with all of our partners — that includes the judiciary and the bar — to make sure we are doing this in a manner that these pieces actually help our judicial system as opposed to becoming a barrier,” Naqvi says. 

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