Yesterday, we told you about Judicial Officers from all over the region meeting at the Belize Biltmore Plaza for the 6th Biennial Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) conference. At the conference there were many discussions of improving the judicial system in the Caribbean. The incorporation of technology in the judicial system was one of the main topics when it came to improvements. According to Justice Peter Jamadar, Chairperson of CAJO, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is leading the development of the use of technology in the system.
Justice Adrian Saunders, President, Caribbean Court of Justice: “The CCJ actually is pioneering the electronic means of delivering justice and so we have all our cases, all our hearings are live streamed, all our filings are done electronically and in fact it is the only court in the Caribbean currently that has electronic filing of cases. We also are increasing our footprint on social media, so we have a twitter page, we have a Facebook page because we recognize that that is the way that you reach most people. But it is a challenge at the level of the courts below to embrace that kind of modernity and it’s something that we at the CCJ are interested in trying to encourage. There are a range of issues, first of all you need very good internet access and that is not a problem that the judges can solve that is a problem that the solution to it resides elsewhere but there are some problems that the judges can solve and that is to educate themselves and to be more open to the use of technology. In some countries all it takes is the willingness and the desire to hold hearings for example by telephone so that if you have a litigant who is in one part of the country but has access to a telephone and there is no absolute need to have that witness present before you then the delivery of justice can be done by that means. So you need both things, you need objective infrastructure and then you also need judicial officers who are open to and who understand the value of being in the digital age.”
Justice Jamadar noted that with the use of technology new problems may arise and they must handle them carefully.