The Ministry of Justice is looking to roll out more virtual services in the administration of justice across the island as more courts now have broadband connectivity.
Speaking at the Standing Committee on Finance on Thursday, Portfolio Minister Delroy Chuck said all courts should be connected by broadband and in due course all will have improved internet.
“I know that in some courts, broadband internet connectivity has improved significantly. This will allow us to roll out more virtual services within the parish courts,” Chuck said.
In addition, he said, for the 2022/23 financial year, the ministry will seek to increase technology in the courts, adding that courts will be asked to hold more virtual hearings, especially in parish courts.
He pointed out that training court staff in the use of technology will also be a focus for the new exercise.
“Many of our older judges feel more comfortable writing, but there is a lot of training going on right now, so judges can, in fact, use virtual hearings. They’re also very committed to what’s called case management, which will help them cut through a lot of the processes you see them drafting,” Chuck said.
He also informed that the Chief Justice, in conjunction with the Courts Administration Division, is working to establish a paperless system within the courts.
“We want to move to this situation where you don’t see any papers in court … you have your laptop, you have your virtual hearings. We want to digitize a large part of the records of all parish courts. If you go to the parish courts, you see rooms full of files, and if there is a fire, as happened in Brown’s Town, it is now lost,” Chuck said.
He pointed out that in the next fiscal year, “our great hope is that digitization will begin, and [in] another year or two, we will not have any more paper in front of the courts”.
– JIS News