The new fully digital process for simple procedure cases will be launched on Thursday 25 April 2019, Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service has confirmed.

Under the new service parties will be able to submit cases, pay court fees, submit supporting documents and respond to any claim lodged, all online at any time. This will allow fully digital hearings with all case documentation available and presented in the courtroom through Civil Online.

Civil Online was initially introduced in March last year to allow parties to track the progress of cases in court. It was further enhanced in December, enabling parties to access court documents from the portal, with automatic notification, rather than receiving documents by post. Since December there have been over 4,000 simple procedure cases registered, of which 54% of claimants and 33% of respondents have opted for online notification.

SCTS chief executive Eric McQueen commented: “There is no doubt that the public and the legal profession expect to have the option to access our services digitally, 24 hours a day. Civil Online will help us meet these expectations for simple procedure cases; it will help make civil justice more accessible and speed up the system for everyone. Of course we know that not everyone is ready to use digital services, so we will continue to provide the more traditional access, while supporting people to use our digital services.”

More than 700 legal firms and organisations are registered to use Civil Online and a number of well-attended events have been held in Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Glasgow for solicitors, their staff and other organisations, to demonstrate the submission process and the presentation of digital cases in a courtroom environment.