‘Judicial Hub’ wins 2015 Crystal Scales of Justice Prize

An innovative virtual learning and online communications platform for judicial office holders in Scotland has been named as the winner of the prestigious 2015 ‘Crystal Scales of Justice Prize’.

The ‘Judicial Hub’ is a ground-breaking custom built platform designed to meet the information, learning, collaboration and communication needs of all judges, sheriffs, and justices of the peace in Scotland.  

Utilising advanced digital technology, the Hub is unique in that it provides a wide range of learning and communication features on one site that users can access on any device with internet access from any location.  

Launched in March 2014, the Hub saw off competition from across Europe to claim the award from the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ). 

The Crystal Scales of Justice Prize, organised by the Council of Europe, recognises innovative practices by European judicial institutions aimed at improving both quality and access to justice.  

This year 18 proposals from 11 countries throughout Europe were submitted, resulting in the Judicial Hub being shortlisted alongside the High Judicial Council of Serbia, the Court Administration of the Republic of Latvia, and the Dutch Legal Aid Board. 

Sheriff Alistair Duff, Director of the Judicial Institute for Scotland, was presented with the top prize during a ceremony on 23 October 2015 in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the main event during celebrations to mark the 2015 European Day of Justice. 

Sheriff Duff said: “I am delighted to receive the award in recognition of the hard work invested in designing and developing the Hub by all of my Judicial Institute and Judicial Office colleagues. Since the launch of the Hub a huge effort has gone into maintaining, developing and improving its appearance and functionality as well as in supporting judicial office holders to make the best use of the Hub and its resources.” 

Fabio Bartolomeo, president of the jury of the Crystal Scales of Justice Prize, said: “The Judicial Institute for Scotland has developed an innovative website designed in order to create a dynamic environment, meeting the information, learning, collaboration and communication needs of judicial office holders in Scotland. All European judicial systems should take the example of the Judicial Hub in order to improve they way their websites are designed and deployed.”