Reforms need time and imagination, but worth it in end, says Lord Justice Clerk

08 Dec

Lady Dorrian arrives to deliver her keynote address


THE Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, examined vulnerable witnesses, digitisation of the courts and case management in her keynote address to the 21st Century Bar Conference 2017.

Lady Dorrian said judges were now much more active in managing cases, but success depended also on others.

“All of us, not just judges but solicitors and advocates too, have a part to play in ensuring the efficient disposal of business in our courts,” she told the audience at the Faculty’s Mackenzie Building.

Digitisation of the courts, Lady Dorrian said, was a direction which everyone knew should be taken, and the public probably expected entirely electronic processes.

Where judges in the past might need four or five boxes of books and papers to be humped in and out of court for a case, she now simply carried a memory stick.

“We need to look at issues with new ambitious eyes, and harness the opportunities presented by technology,” she added.

“It is no small thing to promote changes in law and practice. It takes time, imagination and careful and diligent thought, and it takes a good deal of patience. But it is time, imagination, thought and patience well worth expending if, at the end of the process, we have a modern, adaptable, efficient and accessible legal system.”

The speech is here