Electronic Court Files in the Federal Court of Australia
The Federal Court of Australia uses information technology to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and accessibility of the Court. The introduction of technology will continue to change court operations, similar to the ways in which technology has affected other business practices across the globe.
The Federal Court's pioneering eServices Strategy reached a significant milestone when the first file of the Court to be wholly created, managed and stored electronically was produced on 14 July 2014 in Adelaide.
The creation of electronic court files primarily affects the internal functions of the Court but will also provide opportunities for Court users to expand how they interact with the Court. The Court's existing eLodgment system is the means by which documents will be placed on an electronic court file (ECF). eLodgment has been expanded as part of the roll out of the ECF.
The benefits for the Court users where there is an electronic court file is:
- Automatic acceptance of supporting documents. Where an electronic court file exists most supporting documents that are eLodged will be stamped with the seal of the Court and returned to the eLodger within minutes. Case administration documents such as consent orders or correspondence will be stamped received and also returned to the eLodger within minutes
- Increasing the range of documents available for view by authorised users on the Commonwealth Court's Portal
- Documents filed will be available promptly (twice a business day) on the Commonwealth Courts Portal and, where possible, stamped orders will be available instantly.
The benefits for the Court include:
- Immediate access to the court file and the documents on it, by different authorised people within the Court at the same time
- Increased efficiency in case management as the Court eliminates time spent retrieving court files or documents
- Eliminating the opportunities for lost or incomplete paper files
- Reduction in ongoing storage and archiving costs as the Court is required to maintain certain Court records in perpetuity.