Key concerns raised by PLP about digital support for those using online court services have been echoed by a recent report into the pilot assisted digital support service.

The Good Things Foundation report published at the end of September found that those who provide the support service experience difficulties in separating legal advice from technical support.

The report said: ‘Although additional support is not within the remit of the funded face-to-face DS service, where needed, it cannot be separated from Digital Support.’

It went on to say that in some instances ‘not having this [face to face] support would be a barrier to accessing HMCTS services online.’

The Good Things Foundation report also reflected PLPs concerns that the pace of reform change was over-taking preparedness. The report notes that the ‘assisted digital service’ pilot will be extended for a year, meaning the safety net to address the ‘digital divide’ will remain in pilot phase whilst many online processes in the reform programme are fully rolled out.’

Read PLP’s submission to the Justice Select Committee inquiry of January 2019.