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Courts case management system glitch as HMCTS resumes rollout

By Monidipa Fouzder >>

(28 March 2022)

Criminal practitioners were unable to access Common Platform this morning as rollout of the troubled digital courts case management system was due to resume.

The Gazette has seen an email from HM Courts & Tribunals Service to lawyers this morning stating that Common Platform was unavailable to all users. ‘We are urgently investigating the cause of this problem and we will update you when more information is available… We apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience. We will provide a further update as soon as possible,’ the email said.

In a second messages over an hour later, HMCTS said Common Platform was available again. ‘The problem we reported previously has been resolved. You may find that reconnecting to Common Platform is slightly slower than normal on this occasion,’ the email said.

National rollout of Common Platform is due to resume today after it was paused last summer due to what HMCTS said were ‘several technical and performance issues’.

HMCTS said last week that Common Platform was ‘ready to go live’ at 11 criminal courts in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire from today.

A spokesperson for HMCTS told the Gazette: ‘This morning we experienced an issue with our secure login service. The issue was unrelated to the operation of Common Platform. It has now been resolved and access is restored.’

The agency said the crime identity access management log-in service experienced ‘issues’ from around 8.30am to 10.40am, which prevented users from accessing Common Platform, but the system itself had no issues.

Common Platform is live in nearly half of all criminal courts and over 100,000 cases have been managed onto the system since it was introduced in late 2020.

HMCTS has spent £236m on implementing the programme. Senior civil servants told the House of Commons justice select committee this month that a £18.35m ‘constructive loss’ in developing the system was a consequence of reform projects that go on for years.

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)