We continue to refine and improve our prosecution services for our partner agencies. These services cover every aspect of the criminal prosecution process, from pre‑brief advice to brief assessment, litigation services during the court process, creation of specialist resources for agencies and liaison activity.
We also collaborate extensively with our partners to build capability and drive improvements in the prosecution process. This collaboration ranges from tailored training and secondments or outpostings, to participation in joint initiatives such as government taskforces.
The growing need to digitise prosecution processes has seen us work closely with our partners to design standards for the submission of electronic briefs of evidence (e‑briefs). During the financial year, the Commonwealth Director and Australian Federal Police Commissioner signed an historic letter of agreement to formalise e‑brief arrangements between the two agencies. The agreement by the AFP to supply e‑briefs in all matters referred to the CDPP for prosecution was a significant step in the digital transformation journey for the CDPP, allowing large volumes of digital evidence to be provided in a consistent format that is easier to manage and prepare for court.
The CDPP’s Digital Referrals Gateway enables partner agencies to submit e‑briefs to the CDPP for assessment. Significant enhancements to the Digital Referrals Gateway are planned for the 2020–21 financial year to maximise the types and size of the e‑briefs the CDPP can receive, while ensuring records and materials are preserved. Enhancing the Digital Referrals Gateway will enable the receipt of digital referrals from partner agencies to automate file opening processes in the CDPP’s case management system, caseHQ, giving prosecutors instant access to the materials they need in order to assess the brief to determine whether it is ready to proceed to court.
The enhancement to the Digital Referrals Gateway is a critical component of a digital transformation agenda which is a key priority for the CDPP. Another aspect of this agenda is the establishment of an e‑trial solution. In the 2019–20 financial year, the CDPP scoped the ability to deliver an e‑trial court presentation system enabling jury members to view evidence on tablets. In the coming year, we aim to develop an agile and flexible e‑trial solution to allow the CDPP to streamline court proceedings and decrease reliance upon paper materials when conducting a trial, making the delivery of trials more effective and efficient.
The CDPP recognises our partner agencies rely on prosecution related data. The CDPP continues to enhance its reporting and data analytics capability to provide timely and accurate information for efficient decision making. Robust data analysis also assists us in managing our legal practice and resourcing, while helping us to more accurately predict future trends that will impact on our business.
Each of our legal practice groups actively engages with partner agencies to establish and build strong working relationships. The insights our prosecutors develop help to ensure we provide effective prosecution services that are responsive to the operating environment and our partner agencies’ needs.