Federal Court makes announcement about Electronic Court File project

December 9, 2013 |

Today the Federal Court announced the transition to complete electronic filing and storage by the end of 2014.  Many in the profession have known for some time of the Federal Court’s preference for moving in this direction.

Details of the process are as follows (and found here):

Federal Court of Australia’s Electronic Court File

Project overview

The Federal Court of Australia is an early adopter of the use of information technology to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and accessibility of the Court. Technology has, and will continue to change court operations, similar to the ways in which technology has affected business practices across the globe.

The Court is currently undertaking an important change in its internal operations – it will transition from paper based information management to digital files. This transition is called the Electronic Court File (ECF) project.

This change will primarily affect the internal functions of the Court but will also provide opportunities for Court users to expand how they interact with the Court.

The ECF project is a further step towards the creation of a single web-based interface, which will effectively integrate the electronic provision and management of information and services. We use the term my files to describe the service. Registered court users will be able to see immediately a list of their files or more precisely, the information or documents they are authorised to access on the Court’s files. They will be able to undertake electronic interaction with the Court and other court users, in respect of my files (ie. your files).

Project aims

The key aims of the project are to:

  • implement digital court file management for the Court
  • bring to fruition the myfiles concept for the judiciary, registry and Court users
  • create flexibility for accessing the Court file
  • eliminate time spent retrieving court documents and the opportunities for lost or incomplete paper files
  • reduce future storage and archiving costs.
The Federal Court receives over 70,000 documents per year. The Court has over ten locations across Australia where paper files are stored or archived.

Timeframe

The middle of 2014 will see the electronic court file launched within the Court. The Court’s approach to implementing the project will be staged. This will include conducting an initial release in a registry. The project will be completed by the end of 2014 and will culminate with the mandating of eLodgment. The Court will announce the date for mandatory eLodgment with a reasonable timeframe to enable all Court users to be ready.

Project governance

The ECF Project Board is made up of members of the Court’s executive as well as District Registrars who advise the Court on matters relating to the project. Within the Court, there is a small team overseeing and working with vendors to complete the project. This team works in collaboration with chambers, registry and other Court staff.

Communication

Information about the project will be available via the Court’s local liaison meetings or on the Court’s website. Interested parties can subscribe to the Court’s Practice News to received updates about the project.

 

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