Common Platform live in more courts in midlands and north-west England

Common Platform is now live at courts in Chester, Warrington, Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford and Cannock. These steps mark the start of the move from the early adopter phase of introducing the system to rolling it out nationally across England and Wales.

The latest sites to go live with Common Platform are:

  • Chester Crown Court
  • Warrington Magistrates’ Court
  • Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates’ Court (North Staffordshire Justice Centre)
  • Stafford Crown Court
  • Cannock Magistrates’ Court

Common Platform went live in these courts on Monday 29 March 2021, with the first overnight cases being managed on the system from 30 March 2021. Initially, it will be used for a small number of cases with case volumes building over time. System performance will be closely monitored, making sure everything works as anticipated, before gradually increasing capacity.

Our Courts and Tribunals service centres (CTSCs) will support the magistrates’ courts using Common Platform with pre and post-hearing administrative support.

HMCTS has recently contacted defence firms and chambers in these regions to remind them to register for Common Platform accounts before attending any of these courts to join hearings.

Paul McGladrigan, Head of Crime for the north-west, said:

Working with Common Platform in Chester and Warrington gives us the opportunity to play an important role in the early stages of the use of this unique new system. Our operational experience and feedback will be fed into future development, and into the training and support which will benefit colleagues in other courts. We can make a real contribution to further national rollout over the rest of this year, which will bring such benefits to the criminal justice system as a whole.

I’d like to thank all of my colleagues – those using the system locally in Warrington and Chester, and those in the Common Platform implementation team – all of whom have worked so hard to make this possible. Making a change of this significance is never easy, but their dedication to making it a success even in the context of the pandemic, and such uncertain times for all of us, makes us all proud.

Common Platform is a new digital system designed to transform the way the criminal justice system uses, manages and shares case information. It allows the participants in a criminal case – including the police, the judiciary, court staff, defence and prosecution, probation and witness services – to access the most up-to-date case details and documents, through a user-friendly, secure web application.

The rollout of Common Platform will continue throughout 2021, with more courts set to go live in April in the midlands, Wales, the north-west, the north-east and the south-west.

We regularly update the full the list of courts where Common Platform is now operational.

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