How digital and data are reshaping justice services


Portrait of Mike Cashin
By Mike Cashin

19 December 2023

In November 2023, the Digital Justice & Policing Conference in Scotland offered a deep dive into the future of justice services. Discover the key takeaways from this fascinating event.

I recently had the privilege of attending the Digital Justice & Policing Conference in Scotland on November 7th, 2023 in Glasgow. It was a fascinating dive into the future of justice services in the digital age.

The conference was a melting pot of ideas, experiences and innovations. Stakeholders from across the justice landscape in Scotland and beyond came together to chart the course for a system undergoing a profound transformation.

The theme of the event was clear: how digital and data are reshaping the delivery of justice services in Scotland.

Key takeaways

One of the key takeaways from the conference was the emphasis on creating an enhanced user experience for victims and witnesses. In a world where technology is advancing at breakneck speed, it’s heartening to see the justice system leveraging these advancements. Making the often daunting process of seeking justice more accessible and supportive, is close to our heart at Storm. We're working with the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service on the Witness Gateway service, transforming services and engagement for witnesses across Scotland.

"Making the often daunting process of seeking justice more accessible and supportive, is close to our heart at Storm."

The conference brought together speakers from far and wide, with a lot of focus and insightful discussion on the ethical use of AI in the justice sector. As technology evolves, so do the ethical considerations surrounding its implementation. The discussions delved into the importance of ensuring that the adoption of AI aligns with principles of fairness, accountability and transparency.

As excellent example of this was presented by Armando Aguilar, the Miami Police Assistant Chief, who shed light on the critical role of policy and usage guidance in operationalising AI. Aguilar’s compelling presentation centred around the use of facial recognition software in the Miami Police Department’s pilot program. He illustrated how this technology is actively employed to identify suspects and aid in solving crimes.

What made Aguilar's presentation particularly noteworthy was his emphasis on the importance of clear policies and ethical guidelines governing the use of such powerful tools. He highlighted the need for a balanced approach that harnesses the benefits of facial recognition while safeguarding individual privacy and preventing potential misuse. His insights underscored the notion that successful integration of AI in law enforcement requires not just technological prowess but a comprehensive framework that prioritises responsible and ethical practices.

"It’s not just about the technology; it’s about the people driving these changes and their collective vision for a more effective and responsive justice system."

Final thoughts

Overall, the event provided a platform for networking and collaboration, fostering a sense of community among digital justice practitioners in Scotland. It’s not just about the technology; it’s about the people driving these changes and their collective vision for a more effective and responsive justice system.

The commitment to embracing digital transformation and harnessing the power of data is paving the way for a more agile, accessible and equitable justice system. It’s not going to be easy, but the intent and expertise is certainly in place, which is why I remain optimistic about the future of justice services in Scotland.

And, finally, a sincere thank you to FutureScot for organising the conference. The event ran smoothly at the Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow, making it a well-coordinated and enjoyable experience for all delegates. All in all, an excellent day out within the allowed radius of my ankle tag.