JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Data from a study conducted by the Court Administration Division (CAD), involving 61,700 cases examined across parish courts islandwide, revealed that 83 per cent of cases were disposed of under 12 months.
  • The study, conducted over 37 months, began in September 2016 and lasted until December 2019.
  • Speaking at a recent national conference on Technology in the Justice Sector, Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes, said with the continued integration of technology in the Justice Sector, the Government will work towards addressing the 17 per cent of cases that take longer to be resolved.

Data from a study conducted by the Court Administration Division (CAD), involving 61,700 cases examined across parish courts islandwide, revealed that 83 per cent of cases were disposed of under 12 months.

The study, conducted over 37 months, began in September 2016 and lasted until December 2019.

Speaking at a recent national conference on Technology in the Justice Sector, Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes, said with the continued integration of technology in the Justice Sector, the Government will work towards addressing the 17 per cent of cases that take longer to be resolved.

“The parish courts are not as inefficient as we believe. Our time stamp is 24 months from entry to disposition. The real issue is with the 17 per cent, and that is where our efforts should be focused. So, with this new software slated to come on stream and assuming that it does what is required of it, and more importantly, the staff and the judges are comfortable with it and can use it, it should make an important difference,” Justice Sykes said.

The new case management system, which will be in all courts across the country, is expected to help optimise the operations of the courts.

Justice Sykes said one important area that the new system will assist in, is Case Weighting.

The process involves assigning a numerical value, otherwise known as a weighted credit, to specific types of cases that recognises the greater or lesser workload required for those cases compared to an average case.

Case weighting improves and simplifies the assessment of court workloads, allowing the correct allotment of time and resources to dedicate to each matter before the court.

“We are now getting into the weighting of cases, so we’ll be having different weights attached to different types of cases. This will be tied to, hopefully, an algorithm of some kind, so it can sort of work out a bit more precisely how long a case should take, depending on the various factors that you take into account that would affect that particular case,” Justice Sykes explained.

So far, multiple levels of the judiciary in the Court of Appeal, Supreme and Parish courts have been exposed to and trained in case management principles.

In addition to work already done to train and expose staff, sensitisation sessions are ongoing as well as the development of an internal education programme to explain what the system does, its potential and how to use it effectively.

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