Case Management Statistical System Implemented at Parish Courts

Photo: Dave Reid Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck (second left), looks on as Court Statistician, Dr. Denarto Dennis (right); and Data Entry Clerk from the St. Ann Parish Court, Shanique Davis (seated), demonstrate the use of the Case Management Statistical System, which has been implemented at parish courts across the island. Head of Development Cooperation at the High Commission of Canada, Walter Bernyck; and Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, also observe. Occasion was the official launch of the system on Saturday, January 21, at the Ministry’s Constant Spring Road offices.

Story Highlights

  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, said its implementation is an indication of the bold strides being made to address concerns regarding case backlogs in the courts.
  • Mr. Chuck pointed out that the mechanism will also help with mapping the geography of criminal activities by ascertaining the origin of crimes across several
  • All parish courts were outfitted with new computers to support the data entry process and the deployment has been supported by ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

The Ministry of Justice has implemented a Case Management Statistical System in parish courts island-wide, which will capture data on criminal matters and enhance the capacity of the justice system to manage backlogs.

The system, which was put in place between July and December 2016, was official launched on Saturday (Jan. 21) at the Ministry’s Constant Spring Road office.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, said its implementation is an indication of the bold strides being made to address concerns regarding case backlogs in the courts.

He noted that not having an effective way of tracking cases leads to “guess work” and “grossly inflated figures” as to the number of cases in the system.

“This process of data entry and correction… will go a far way in getting a more accurate picture of what is happening within our courts,” he said.

Mr. Chuck pointed out that the mechanism will also help with mapping the geography of criminal activities by ascertaining the origin of crimes across several parishes, as well as the demography and gender of persons involved.

Court Statistician, Dr. Denarto Dennis, explained that in addition to bolstering the capacity to capture data, the system is intended to enable the relevant stakeholders to determine the true case load of each court and in the overall court system,  and to monitor the efficiency with which cases move through the courts.

It also allows the court and justice services to make informed interventions to improve speed and efficiency.

The implementation of the system, funded by the Canadian High Commission, was preceded by island-wide training exercises.

All parish courts were outfitted with new computers to support the data entry process and the deployment has been supported by ongoing monitoring and evaluation. Included is a case numbering system, which conforms to international standards.

Dr. Dennis said efforts are now underway to implement the data capturing scheme in the Supreme Court and to deploy an interim system for the family courts, civil division of the parish courts and the Coroner’s Court.

“Ultimately, these will feed into a new integrated web-based data capturing system, which will be deployed across the entire court system and enable all courts to be connected in real time,” he said.

Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, in commending the implementation of the system, noted that the use of statistics is necessary to guide policy and operational decisions.

“This is a very important area of the administration of justice. From time to time, over the years, requests have been made for statistics and we have not been in a position to provide it, so this significant progress in centralising the court statistics is remarkable,” she said.

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