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Courts systems have an obligation to deliver justice—regardless of global or local crisis

Recently courts, like businesses and institutions worldwide, have been affected and required to modify processes. The unprecedented actions of locking down the globe presents many challenges, and unattended consequences, with the potential to impact the delivery of justice for all. While the court was racing to stand-up remote capabilities subsequent pressures including climate change, political unrest, and civil disturbances added to the complexity and urgency.

Courts have a great responsibility to our community given the continuity of justice is what keeps order and fairness. Those two elements become even more important in times of crisis. Many court leaders and administrators were fast to respond to the crisis. The quick adoption of remote working and virtual hearings capabilities helped keep the court open, eliminating backlogs. Meanwhile, court clerks were instrumental in helping the technology industry understand the unique requirements for a court

Microsoft worked with subject matter experts and the court customers to help develop a more tailored solution to meet the needs of a court. Virtual Hearings was the answer to the ask of customers to help replicate the functionality of the court process from a remote posture.

“… in our quest for digital transformation, with the aim of realizing expedited, efficient, and secure trials that are more user-friendly for court users especially during this time of public health emergency,” said the Honorable Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta.

After several months of remote working, we have seen the technology evolve and adoption of the technology accelerate. The courts are learning that the ability to work remotely is not only advantageous for social distancing but an efficient and cost-saving measure that could enhance the services of a court. Technology savvy courts are realizing that they may not need the huge and costly infrastructures of a courthouse, that citizens can get levels of “self-help” from a digitally connected court, paper costs are reduced or eliminated with safer storage, auto redaction, and digital filing. Attorneys can quickly communicate and submit documents—regardless of time or location—to keep the pace of justice moving even when social distancing is no longer required.

Core to Microsoft’s culture, we have applied customer feedback to help evolve our technology to support the unique needs of courts. As our world evolves and changes, the needs of the court will as well. Microsoft, who embraces the mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet is helping courts deliver on their promise of justice for all.

Watch a virtual hearing in action and learn more about Microsoft in Public Safety and Justice.