Legal Information Model - Introduction

​Legal Information Model

2. Introduction (back to Contents)

2.1 Background

2.1.1 JLIB
2.1.2 Information Map Project

2.2 Approach
2.3 Structure of the Information Model
2.4 Introduction to Findings and Recommendations


2.1 Background

2.1.1 JLIB (back to top)

The aim of the Jersey Legal Information Board (JLIB) is to create a vision and set the direction for Jersey’s Legal Information Systems for the five years from 1999 to 2004.

Its vision is:

To see Jersey’s legal system being recognised as the global best for a small jurisdiction: that is, as a world leader - best serving the peoples and businesses of, and those who interact with, the Island.

The three main elements of its Legal Information Strategy are:

· Leading financial centre - to strengthen continuously Jersey’s position as a leading financial centre through refinement and development of the Island’s legal processes and infrastructure

· Access to justice - to capitalise on and continuously develop, through the intelligent exploitation of IT, the accessibility of law and legal process to the public

· Integrated legal system - to provide an integrated legal system; that is, one that is co-ordinated, connected and unified - inclusive of: the courts, the legal processes, professions and States departments.

A number of projects have been defined under each of these three headings.

2.1.2 Information Map Project (back to top)

The first project under the heading of Integrated Legal System is JLIB project number 11:

Develop an information map of the legal system and its connected agencies and users.

The main benefits were foreseen as:

· increased efficiency and so cutting of costs;

· better productivity and so reduction in delays;

· greater public confidence in justice system.

For this project, Cap Gemini was commissioned to build an information model of the main legal processes in Jersey. The approach used is described in section 2.2; the structure of the model is described in section 2.3 and a high-level summary provided; and the more detailed components of the model are presented as Appendix G to this report, under separate cover.

A number of recommendations have also arisen out of the project; these are presented in sections 3 to 8 (and briefly listed in Appendix E).


2.2 Approach (back to top)

· Cap Gemini has recently completed a "first cut" e-government Information Model for the States of Jersey, comprising 15 processes across a broad range of government activities.

· It was decided to adopt a similar approach for this project:

· A "timeboxed" approach was used, meaning that production of the model would be limited by a fixed timescale and resource input;

· The model was framed in terms of processes (such as Remand Accused) rather than organisations (such as Magistrates Court, Viscount’s Department and Prison);

· Some 13 processes were targeted within the timebox. (A 14th process was added from the previous study.) The processes are listed in Appendix A. Given the limited time available, priority was given to breadth of coverage rather than seeking to cover any one process in great detail.

Information was gathered by interviews with representatives of the major parties involved in the delivery of each process. Relevant information from interviews in the previous study was also used.

Interviewees are listed at Appendix C, and we would like to thank all involved for the time and effort they contributed to the process. Given the limited time, it has not been possible to validate the findings with all interviewees. It is inevitable that the level of detail captured varies between processes and that some of the information captured will be amended should further work be undertaken.

Of the 15 processes in the e-government Information Model, 3 were relevant to the legal system:

· Provide Policing Services;

· Run Courts System;

· Secure Prisoners and Provide Probation Services.

The first two were adapted and expanded for the present study; the last one was re-used with few changes, as no new interviews were held relating to this area. Comments and recommendations in sections 3 to 8 relating to the Probation Service and the Prison Service largely derive from interviews held in the previous study.

Those reviewing the model should bear in mind that it:

· is intended to provide a high-level overview rather than a comprehensive description of all services and the information relating to them;

· focuses on the exchange of information between organisations and processes. It does not seek to validate or enhance individual organisations’ Information Systems strategies;

· should be viewed as the starting point for work in a particular area rather than as a definitive statement of current or future states.

Those reviewing the findings and recommendations should bear in mind that:

· constitutional and political issues have not been examined, for example concerning the nature of relationships between different agencies. It is possible that such considerations might prohibit some of the recommendations - although the recommendations have taken into account the general principle of separation of function and control between different agencies;

· the study has not sought to comment on the structure and organisation of the legal system, but has taken the current situation "as given" and recommended how information flows might be improved and information systems integrated within the current structures.


2.3 Structure of the Information Model (back to top)

The Information Model produced from this study comprises:

· A list of the 14 processes covered, given in Appendix A;

· For each of the 14 processes covered, a process profile which contains:

o an overview of the process, shown in diagrammatic form as a number of boxes with interconnections indicating the main steps in the delivery of the process;

o a brief introduction to this diagram;

o identification of the main organisations involved in the process steps, shown in tabular form;

o identification of the types of information passed into and out of each step, shown in tabular form;

o where possible, in the same table, further information on how information is stored/transmitted, and/or the means of identifying cases/individuals/etc. The means of identifying cases/individuals/etc are described more fully in Appendix D.

These profiles are given in Appendix G (under separate cover);

· A high-level model, comprising a diagram illustrating how the 14 processes fit together, shown in this section in both a simpler form and a fuller form (figures 1 and 2);

· A report on findings and recommendations, given in sections 3 to 8 of this report.

Figure 1 High-Level Model Simpler Form

Figure 2 High-Level Model Fuller Form

This report also includes:

· A list of related processes which have not been included, given in Appendix B;

· Comments from the interviews on two areas outside the scope of this study, which have been included in Appendix F in case of interest to the Board.


2.4 Introduction to Findings and Recommendations (back to top)

Sections 3 to 8 present the findings and recommendations arising from the study.

Recommendations are highlighted by the word "recommended" appearing in bold; major recommendations are further highlighted by appearing in a box. A summary of the major recommendations appears in section 1.3. For ease of reference, a list of all recommendations also appears in Appendix E.

In a number of areas we recommend that JLIB should perform some function or action. We recognise that JLIB may not ultimately be responsible for all of these actions and may in some areas identify more appropriate bodies.

Section 3 contains the major structural recommendations in this report: in essence, that the processes and organisations which deal with cases (meaning criminal cases or civil actions) should work towards integration of their information systems. This will be achieved, not by creating a single information system across all organisations (which could be unacceptable constitutionally), but by:

· interfaces between the different systems to allow information to pass electronically between them;

· moving towards Workflow systems which automatically process information received according to predefined rules based on the contents of the information received.

These concepts are explained in section 3.

Section 4 describes specific opportunities for improving information flows between organisations. These are generally shorter term recommendations than in section 3, but in some instances could form part of the longer term solutions proposed in section 3. The subject of security of electronic transmission is also discussed.

Section 5 relates to planning: firstly the planning of information systems developments, and the consultation which needs to take place to ensure that individual developments contribute to the goal of integration of systems proposed in section 3; and secondly, the planning of Courtroom facilities, if the objective of the "electronic Courtroom" is to be realised.

Section 6 covers aspects of access: access to facilities and software, access to information via the Internet, and the new rights of access to information afforded by Human Rights legislation.

Section 7 recommends additional facilities concerning the electronic publication of Unreported Judgements in the Legal Information website.

Section 8 covers miscellaneous other issues: Treasury Stamps, Court scheduling, and further use of the Information Model produced in this study.

(Note also that the Contents on pages 2-4 gives a full listing of headings and subheadings within the whole report, and an index to the Figures.)

Page Last Updated: 05 Sep 2019