Thursday, October 02, 2008

UK Wants All Court Records Online ...

In the UK, at the Labour Party Conference, Justice Minister Jack Straw (right) stated his intention that all UK court records should be placed online for all to see.

Gee, how many problems can you see in this picture?

I can't actually see a benefit... I can foresee dozens of problems - privacy and accuracy of data foremost amongst them. The UK Gov has an appalling history of IT projects failure - the National Health Service, the Air Traffic Control System, The Passports Office, The Criminal Database: not One of them has delivered what was planned, on budget, on time. Yet the UK Gov continues to award IT contracts for these unnecessary schemes to those same companies who have continually failed before.

Added to the continuous data errors and losses that have plagued British public services in recent years, does anyone have any confidence that this pointless scheme will work at all well. And I have yet to discover any benefit from this scheme.

Perhaps it may be useful to local vigilante groups searching for targets, or for jury members wanting to find out some previous convictions of the accused before them. Other than that I cannot see any potential good uses that this scheme can be put to.

And to top it all, I embarrassingly find myself inline with a group of people that I'd never normally side with - lawyers and barristers, who are also dead against it.