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No more sip tests? ID card pilot to help jump the court queue

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Legal professionals will be able to avoid security checks at court using a smartphone identification system, as part of a new pilot scheme starting on 5 September.

It’s going to be a lot easier for barristers and solicitors to get into court in future, with a queue-skipping initiative planned and a smartphone identity system under development to tackle ‘airport-style security’ searches.

The app will be used as part of HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) professional entry scheme pilot.

Five courts will take part in the scheme, which if successful it could be rolled out nationally. 

  • Brighton Magistrates’ Court
  • Maidstone Combined Court
  • Southwark Crown Court
  • Tameside Magistrates’ Court
  • Wood Green Crown Court.

Security measures have been a talking point in the legal profession for several months, with court users often taking to social media to share experiences of lengthy delays.

In August last year, HMCTS rolled out a scheme requiring anyone entering the court, including solicitors and barristers, to take a sip from a drink they wanted to bring into a court building in order to prove its contents were harmless.  

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