Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Move will cut court paperwork

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The Manitoba government is bringing the province's court system into this century.

Justice Minister Andrew Swan introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow police to file electronic statements or court "informations" for upcoming court cases in which Criminal Code charges are being laid.

"It's all about modernizing our court system," Swan said. "One of the benefits is that we can make our police more efficient. Instead of the police handling paper and physically getting it over to the court, they'll now be able to electronically send documents."

The proposed amendment to the Provincial Court Act would also allow for an electronic signature to be used.

The change is part of ongoing efforts to eliminate most of the paperwork used in the courts, Swan said.

Former Manitoba ombudsman Irene Hamilton was hired by the province almost a year ago to head up that process.

Swan said the province is also looking at using secure electronic record-keeping for provincial offences, such as those under the Highway Traffic Act and civil cases at the Court of Queen's Bench.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 28, 2012 B4

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