GIS: The Court has Commenced the Steps for Implementing an E-Litigation Portal.
The impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the region’s court infrastructure, coupled with the considerable loss of court files, have brought into sharp focus the urgency to implement an electronic platform, so says Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship, Hon. Dame Janice M. Pereira.
The Chief Justice said are many lessons to be learned from the recent hurricanes that left a trail of destruction in their wake. In a televised address, Justice Pieria said the ECSC was embarking on implementing a fully operational e-filing and modern e-case management system, and urged legal practitioners and governments to give full support to the ECSC in this initiative.
“The court has commenced the steps for implementing an e-litigation portal,” she began. “This portal will facilitate e-filing, e-case processing, storage and retrieval. Already, the rudimentary e-filing measure for the filing of cases via email for the temporary operations of the BVI Commercial Division in Saint Lucia has been hailed by practitioners as a measure which has made the court process more efficient than before.
“Implementing such a system will ensure that court materials are preserved in times of disaster and the administration of justice need not become uncertain following such catastrophes. In a previous address at the opening of the law year I asked listeners to imagine what it would be like if the doors of the court became closed. Hurricanes Irma and Maria have brought what we thought was only imaginable, to life. It has become very real for our affected islands leading to considerable fear and anxiety among our people. These disasters also highlight that in the course of increasing our dependency on Information and Communications Technology we need to ensure that there are backup and contingency measures with sufficient redundancy to allow for operations to resume as soon as possible in the event of a disaster.”
Three of the court’s nine member states and territories, namely: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Virgin Islands, were severely impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria. In the case of Dominica, an assessment of court infrastructure and documents is ongoing.
The ECSC, this year, observes its 50th anniversary under the theme “Celebrating the Past, and Embracing the Future.”