RM Court Computerisation at Advanced Stage


The move by the Ministry of Justice to introduce modern information technology in the island’s main courthouses is now 75 percent completed under Phases I and II of the Resident Magistrate’s Court Computerisation Project.
To date, the initiative has seen the installation of computer hardware and software, as well as related equipment such as printers and scanner installed in some 12 courthouses. This has been complemented by efforts to strengthen security at the sites where the equipment is located.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Carol Palmer, reiterated that the Court Computerisation Project is part of a wider effort to improve the administration of justice in Jamaica. She also noted that access to data which would influence policy decisions was one of a number of key benefits that would be derived from the implementation of the computerised system which is centred around the Judicial Enforcement Management Software (JEMS).
The project, which is one of a number of initiatives being introduced in the country’s justice system under the USAID/Jamaica Democracy and Governance Programme, also entails the training of court personnel charged with the responsibility to manage trial data. The Ministry of Justice has also moved to sensitise Resident Magistrates on the merits of the drive to introduce computer technology in the courtroom, and especially the potential administrative efficiencies that can accrue from effective use of JEMS.
The Permanent Secretary emphasised that the Ministry’s intended policy of “absolute security of information,” was communicated to the project technicians “in no uncertain manner.” This, therefore, restricts access to information as required and is determined largely by the job function of staff members in the courts.
The courts targeted under Phase I of the project include the Corporate Area Family Court, Traffic Court and Coroner’s Court in Kingston; as well as the Corporate Area Criminal and Civil Courts, Spanish Town and May Pen courthouses.
The Resident Magistrates’ Courts in Montego Bay, St. Ann’s Bay, Brown’s Town, Savanna-la-mar and Mandeville are benefiting under Phase II of the project.

JIS Social