In the wake of a report last year in which the CGI and the influential Police Foundation indicated that technology such as blockchain could be the solution for creating greater levels of efficiency within the justice system, digital evidence management provider CaseLines has applied for a patent to use blockchain within its platform, which has already been rolled out in courts across the UK and UAE.
CaseLines is used in the Crown Courts, Supreme and Privy Court, Family Courts, Employment Tribunals, Civil Litigation and International Arbitrations.
This move, CaseLines said, would give digital justice systems unparalleled levels of security and trust in the process of handling all types of evidence. Crucially while blockchain is a public artifact where each transaction in the digital ledger is permanently recorded, the inspection of the blockchain would not reveal evidence and will contain only evidence IDs and hash codes.
This means once a piece of evidence is entered into the system, there can be no possibility of records being altered or falsified. It will thereby eliminate the possibility that evidential material submitted to court can be repudiated, as the validity of the document presented will be irrefutable.
As to why apply for a patent, CaseLines told us: “To implement blockchain technology requires significant investment, not only in its development and implementation in our products, but also in the building of the global network of trusted legal and judiciary partners worldwide. By filing for a patent, we are able to protect our investment, ensuring that we become the global go-to partner for blockchain in digital evidence management.”
Paul Sachs, CTO and founder of CaseLines, said: “This is a groundbreaking development that will revolutionise the way the justice system operates by bringing it firmly into the digital age. CaseLines does not only make the delivery of justice more efficient, both in time and cost, but now makes the provenance of evidence wholly trustworthy.”
“CaseLines brings together cutting edge legal tech expertise with over ten years of experience of the judicial process. We uniquely provide a system that uses a proven set of transactions to display evidence, with the added irrefutability of the blockchain.”
He added: “It is my vision that in the future, the interconnectivity of the global judiciary through blockchain will ensure fair justice worldwide. We are inviting different organisations to participate in a global judicial evidence blockchain to deliver irrefutable evidence to all digital justice systems. CaseLines Digital Evidence Management Platform will be the first system to take full advantage of the CaseLines Digital Evidence Blockchain. We are looking forward to partnering with Justice Ministries and Law firms worldwide to embrace this new technology.”
The report from the CGI and Police Foundation last year said, in one of three key findings: “Digitalisation and new technologies, such as Blockchain, will improve processes and join up services: The range of technologies and their potential applications for the criminal justice system is vast: digital platforms and online portals will empower citizens to reach support services faster, whilst also increasing transparency. At the same time, greater use of automation could improve the speed and quality of completing tasks such as auditing casework, and in the future could even help to address issues such as subjective bias in judicial decision-making. Blockchain technologies could present a unique opportunity to increase accuracy and transparency through secure, auditable distributed records.”