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COPFS unveils CJSM 25/01/2012 Secure email system introduced by COPFS

COPFS unveils CJSM

The Crown office has launched the Criminal Justice Secure eMail (CJSM) system, for use by legal practitioners in Scotland. The move follows the successful introduction of the COPFS Secure Disclosure Website in 2011.

CJSM is a safe, efficient alternative to regular email, fax and post. All emails sent using CJSM are encrypted and so can be read only by the recipient.

At present, hard copy mail represents the majority of correspondence sent and received by COPFS. During the early months of 2012, the Strategy and Delivery Division in Crown Office will be engaging with solicitors around Scotland to encourage them to sign up to CJSM to allow secure electronic exchange of correspondence, documentation and case related information in criminal cases.

This will bring a number of mutual advantages to both Crown and Defence. It will deliver savings in time, provide an audit trail of items sent and received between the Crown and the Defence in each case and allow both to achieve savings on stationery and postage. It will also become possible to carry out plea negotiation by email. Many legal practitioners say that it can be difficult to discuss possible pleas by telephone as Procurator Fiscal staff are often unavailable because they are in court when agents call.

In the last few years, email has become the single most popular way for organisations, companies and individuals to communicate with each other. However, as the number of people emailing has increased, so have the risks of having sensitive information stolen by hackers, being inundated with spam or infiltrated by viruses.

CJSM is now available to all legal practitioners working in the Criminal Justice System in Scotland. It is the only Government accredited secure route for sending emails to Criminal Justice Organisations, including the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scottish Courts Service, Police, Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

COPFS hopes that eventually all disclosure and correspondence with legal agents relating to criminal cases will be handled electronically.

Further information

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