The NSW legal system is getting increasingly digital, with online courts being trialled

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The legal system in New South Wales is going digital with attorney-general Gabrielle Upton announcing a 12-week pilot of the state’s first online court.

The Online Court will initially be used for civil cases in the local court general division and will eliminate the need for lawyers to attend pre-trial hearings in court. Lawyers will be able to make requests and seek preliminary orders, such as adjournments and hearing dates, with the click of a mouse.

Lawyers and their clients from suburban, regional and remote areas will no longer have to incur travel costs to seek a preliminary court order.

Upton says she hopes it will make the justice system faster, easier and cheaper.

“We are witnessing a demand-driven service revolution across all areas of business and our community,” Upton said.

“The NSW Government is pioneering the use of online legal services in Australia. Our significant investment is bringing our courts into the 21st century, while respecting the traditions of the past.”

The pilot is part of the Government’s $9.2 million Justice Online Project which includes the Online Registry launched in February last year.

More than 250,000 Supreme, District and Local Court forms have been lodged online. Nearly 5,000 people are using the online registry or mobile app daily to search for court listings and more than 30% of all transactions now happen after hours.

If the Online Court pilot is successful, it will be rolled out further in 2016.

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