Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, is calling on stakeholders in the justice system to embrace the use of technology in order to enhance efficiency and create a first-class justice system.
He said that incorporating technology in the justice process will not only speed up the delivery of justice but will assist in case scheduling, case flow, docket management, and jury selection.
Providing technology solutions for the island’s courts has become even more critical in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has resulted in some court processes being done virtually, including remote bail hearings and teleconferencing of verdict deliveries.
Minister Chuck was speaking at the recent handover of audiovisual equipment for the island’s courts at the St. Catherine Parish Court in Spanish Town.
The equipment, valued at $85 million, will facilitate testimonies from remote locations as well as make it easier to view and play back electronic evidence in court, record proceedings in real-time, digitise documents, among other capabilities.
The items, which include screens, microphones, cameras and supporting software, were acquired through partnership with the European Union (EU).
“Now, one of the things which people oftentimes notice and sometimes complain about is how long it takes a case to actually be dealt with, because oftentimes in court, the Parish Court or Supreme Court judge is taking down everything by hand.
“With this [audiovisual] technology, it will not be necessary to take down verbatim everything, because the transcript will be available and hopefully, in time, we will have a software that will transcribe the words quickly into print,” Minister Chuck noted.
He expressed gratitude to the EU for supporting improvements in the justice system.
“We are looking towards a first-class justice system, and this technology will assist us,” he noted.
The audiovisual equipment will be installed in 78 courtrooms spanning 19 courthouses islandwide. Some facilities have already been outfitted.