Nova Scotia Courts: Digital Task Force
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The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to modernize Canadian courts. New technological changes have been introduced in Nova Scotia courts over the past 3 years, making court processes more accessible for users.
Creating the Digital Task Force
To expand on these changes, the Courts and the Department of Justice came together to establish a task force in 2021 to create a plan for digitally transforming the court system in Nova Scotia.
The goals of the digital transformation are to identify ways to use technology in the courts to:
- improve access to justice
- increase simplicity and efficiency
- improve outcomes for citizens
- maintain trust and confidence in the court system
Digital Task Force members
The Digital Task Force includes members of the judiciary from all levels of court, as well as senior government officials from the Department of Justice and Department of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services and practising members of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.
The lawyers on the task force were selected based on recommendations from the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society and the Canadian Bar Association's Nova Scotia Branch. Consideration was given to geographic representation, private and public practice, firm size and the lawyers' legal expertise and digital experience.
Phase 1 - Review of technology in the courts – What We Heard
In June 2021, consulting firm Public Digital was commissioned to work with the Digital Task Force to outline a vision for digital transformation of the Nova Scotia Courts. They interviewed people who work in the court system (including members of the judiciary, other court staff, and lawyers) and reviewed other research about Nova Scotia’s courts.
Public Digital looked at:
- where the court system is under pressure in its current state
- how the court system provides clear, user-centered guidance to minimize misunderstanding for court users
- the role of electronic filing and document management systems
- the role of new virtual and remote ways of attending court
- how the court system must respond to the need for greater access to information
Public Digital has summarized the information and feedback shared with them during Phase 1 of the Digital Task Force’s work in a “What We Heard” Report: What We Heard, Nova Scotia Courts (PDF 119KB)
The Digital Task Force sought feedback from people who have experience with the court system in Nova Scotia. This includes court staff, lawyers, community justice groups and members of the public.
A short survey about the way the court system uses technology, including what users think is working well, what isn’t working well and what could be improved, was made available.
The public survey is now closed. Thank you for sharing your feedback.