The New South Wales Land and Environment Court (NSWLEC) has commenced paperless civil trials for Class 3 resumption compensation cases. The paperless elements comprise of a data projector being connected to the courtroom PC, with all materials being tendered on a USB thumb drive.
The NSWLEC has identified many benefits of conducting paperless trials, being namely:
· decreasing costs associated with photocopying and preparing hardcopy documents;
· eliminating the use of paper;
· conserving printing and filing resources;
· reducing energy consumption associated with printing and photocopying; and
· improving access to justice by making all material available to view and understand in the courtroom.
Responses from participants in the trials were overwhelmingly positive. In particular, Justice Moore noted that the electronic format was a benefit to the judgement preparation process.
Five more trials are scheduled to be conducted with paperless material before the end of 2017.
Although not yet fully utilised, we understand that the Sate Administrative Tribunal (SAT) in Western Australia may already have the technological capability to enable paperless trials in its hearing rooms.
Glen McLeod Legal is a paperless office. Like the NSWLEC we have noted numerous benefits in ‘going paperless.’
From an administrative perspective, we have experienced a notable decrease in delays and costs associated with printing and collating documents, and we are enjoying the freedom to work outside the limitations of printing and courier services. This is not to say paper can be avoided altogether, particularly where is it requested by a person who we are dealing with.
Employees have found going paperless has created more office space, has made working offsite more practicable, and allows the firm to cater to employees with flexible work requirements.
All these benefits have flowed on to our clients in meaningful ways, including ease of transferring information, reduced delivery time and costs savings.