The Justice System Reform Court Administration Project had its rural launch at the May Pen Resident Magistrate's Court in Clarendon on Monday as it seeks to modernise the country's justice system.
Several attorneys, members of media and officers of the court were taken through the plans to modernise the country's antiquated justice system.
"Previously, you would have to wait up to two weeks after filing a small claim in the court, however that is set to change in very short order, with the new judicial enforcement management system coming on board," remarked Sheldon Grey, a systems trainer from the Supreme Court.
Mr. Grey took all in attendance through the new initiative and showed that instead of waiting two weeks for a simple document, this could be processed in less than two minutes, which will in effect speed up the process for all concerned.
In addition to speed, the new system will eliminate the possible misplacement of court files. When the new plan comes on stream, taking the file manually from one area to the next will be a thing of the the past. The system will have the information saved on information on a database. He said there will be no need to worry and if some malicious person tried to get rid of the information, with the various security and back-up systems in place, the records could be retrieved within 12 hours.
"We intend to train every member of staff, from the resident magistrates to clerk of court, to make the system fully operational," Grey said.
This pilot project will be done in collaboration with the the Liberty court recorder. The Liberty court recorder is a programme that will feed information said in court through a microphone to a computer which will store the information. This move will eliminate the note taking of the resident magistrate.
The system will work through a PC-based audio recording programme, designed to be run on the Windows operating system.
Canadian representative, Gordon Bennett, indicated that the Liberty solution can record and play back on multiple channels. He said the programme includes bookmarks and text-note features for special marking imbedded directly into the audio files. He said this would benefit both judges and the defence.
It was also revealed that the system has been in Jamaica at the Supreme Court since 1999. In 2003 it was introduced to other RM courts. All courts in Jamaica will come on board and will be attached to the central feeder system at the Supreme Court.
- Rasbert J. Turner