The Herald has reported that the Scottish Solicitors’ Bar Association (SSBA) has expressed criticism of the Crown office app used to book Pre-intermediate Diet Meetings (PIDMs). Concerns have been raised as to the functionality of the app, as well as its overly-complicated user interface.
According to Julia McPartlin, president of the SSBA, the main issues with the app concern booking meetings between defence agents and prosecutors. This is due to a ‘two-factor’ authentication process which requires solicitors to use their personal mobiles and so it cannot be delegated to secretarial staff.
According to the SSBA, this has led to defence lawyers having to get in contact directly with PF deputes, circumventing the app entirely. However, the Crown office are now seeking to ensure that all PIDMs are arranged through the app, which is “not ideal”, according to McPartlin.
In response, the Crown Office has defended its use of the app and of the use of PIDMs in general. A spokesman said: “COPFS will continue to work closely with justice partners to respond to the challenges the sector has faced and promote good communication with the wider legal profession to make improvements that will not only benefit the justice system now, as it recovers from the effects of the pandemic, but in years to come.”