Epic Fail

Being permanently connected to some form of electronic device I monitor social media more keenly than GCHQ. Over the last 48 hours I began to notice people complaining that CJSM, the criminal justice secure email service, was not working. 

Last night we received an email which explained the problem. It opened with this statement:

The Ministry of Justice would like to apologise to CJSM users accessing the service through the CJSM website for the current poor performance of the service, There has been a growth in usage of the service over the pas few months beyond what was expected and over the last couple of months demand has outstripped the capacity of the service.

I am going to let the typo “pas” pass without comment (he says in a passive aggressive way). I am even going to totally ignore the comma followed by a new sentence. 

Let us instead concentrate on the phrase “[t]here has been a growth in usage of the service over the pas[t] few months beyond what was expected and over the last couple of months demand has outstripped the capacity of the service.”

This would seem a reasonable explanation. Save for the fact it is not. The MoJ have been involved intimately in the introduction of Better Case Management and digital working. This requires every participant in the criminal justice system to have a secure email. That means CJSM. So we have been exhorted by….errrr…the MoJ and their partners that we all need a CJSM account as a pre-requisite to use of PCU wifi and access to the case papers online. 

The growth in usage of the service was entirely and utterly predictable. It has been prompted by the actions of the MoJ. 

I am reminded of a teenager who throws a party when their parents go on holiday. They post the invitation to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and are then surprised when it is not just their close friends that turn up but the entire school, seven drug dealers, 567 teenagers from neighbouring towns and a gang of Hells Angels from Holland. 

Actually my friend Brian will chastise me for that analogy because, in this instance, the MoJ have in fact invited the whole school, 567 teenagers and the Dutch biker gang. And then expressed surprise when they all turned up and trashed the house. 

As the Facebook teenager would observe – “epic fail”. 

And this is what worries me about digital working. Not the poor grammar. Not the poor excuse. But the lack of forward thinking that introduces a system of working that the system cannot cope with. 

As fans of Monty Python know, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition. Yet when you tell everyone to get a CJSM account as pre-requisite to participating in the criminal justice system, you really do have to expect every participant will get a CJSM account. 

The MoJ must do better. Again. 

11 thoughts on “Epic Fail

  1. James O'Neil

    Excellent post; and I hope no-one takes issue with your (correct) omission of an apostrophe from the name of the bikers’ association


    1. jaimerhamilton Post author

      I appreciate that I am absolutely wide open to comments on my grammar and spelling however if the One Percenters do not use an apostrophe, who am I to disagree? (Dashes off to proof read the post a seventh time).


      1. Pedant

        Presumably you’re also willing to overlook your own inability to put four letters in the correct order? CSJM indeed – the Criminal Secure Justice Mail, or Can’t Spell, Just Moan?


  2. Happy Solicitor

    Webmail cjsm has to be worst website I’ve ever used.

    I don’t bother with webmail cjsm anymore since switching to the pop3 version. Been using it for 18 months without issues. All the emails come through to your normal outlook etec. No stupid login to cjsm.net. No 10mb limits.
    Everything my firm sends to police, cps, gov, solicitors, court etc all sent securely.


  3. polruan

    Well said, Jaime! Reminds me of the time I was invited by the MoJ to attend a meeting with Fulford LJ on “Judicial Efficiency” in his chambers at the RCJ. The only problem was that when they’d invited him to chair the said meeting, they’d specified that it would be held in their Petty France building. So a dozen JOHs were left sitting around whilst he scrambled to make his way back to the Old Bailey…


  4. Steve Wedd

    And noobly pars the contribution Malachi the fiscal that every single legal aid contract holder must – must – have a secure email address in order to continue in business. Durr


    1. Pedant

      Although to be fair, it also quotes it’s anonymous security expert as saying “Whilst RC4 [the identified vulnerability] can be cracked, it still isn’t easy and requires analysis of a considerable volume of data” which means it’s probably still much more secure than most of our computers and internet connections!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s