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ECSC prioritises completion of Phase 2 of E-Litigation portal

by Pointe Xpress
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Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), The Honourable Dame Janice Pereira, has identified the completion of Phase 2 of the E-Litigation portal as one of the main priorities of the court this Law Year.

Speaking from Anguilla on the occasion of the opening of the Court’s operations for 2023, Dame Janice said it is undeniable that a considerable part of the ECSC’s mandate is to improve access to justice through the development of a digitally driven court system. 

“We live in an era where technology sets the stage for our very existence; it impacts every aspect of our lives, like the law. Having recognized the many real benefits to be derived from modern information communications technologies, the court has been actively pursuing the integration of these technologies into its everyday operations,” she stated.

The Chief Justice explained that the main component of the ICT push has been the phased implementation of the electronic document filing and service platform and E-Litigation portal which commenced in 2018. 

Dame Janice recalled that these accomplishments last year marked the completion of a major milestone and the end of the first phase of the implementation of the portal.

Last year, the launch of Phase Two of the project which is currently ongoing, was also announced. 

Phase 2, she noted, involves the launch and expansion of the portal to accommodate High Court matters as well as proceedings filed in Magistrates’ Courts in each member state and territory.

“This phase is pivotal to modernising the delivery of services offered by the Magistrates’ Court which statistically handles the bulk of court cases brought in every state or territory. 

“Implementation of the portal will also enhance user experiences at the lower, but no less important, level of the justice system. 

“It is also a further step towards the integration of the magistrate into the higher judiciary. 

“This process of integration must happen,” she declared.

Noting that courts exist for the delivery of justice, Dame Janice said there should be no distinction or impairment, legally or otherwise, in the realisation of this purpose. 

“Yet, impediments exist within our OECS region. It is time that this lack of progress for full integration of the magistrate be addressed once and for all,” she stated emphatically.

This is likely Dame Janice’s final year serving as Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court as she has signalled her intention to retire. 

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