Courts digilisation enhances access to justice

Norman Dururu

28

GWERU – The Integrated Electronic Case Management System which seeks to digitalise all courts in
the country has so far played a pivotal role in helping access justice, a senior official has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the introduction of the system to Midlands legal practitioners at the
Labour Court under the project’s second phase, the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission
Walter Chikwana said the IECMS has managed to deal with the disappearance of documents in the
courts it has been implemented.
The IECMS has so far been implemented in the Constitutional and Supreme Courts as well as the
Commercial Division of the High Court under Phase 1 of the project.
“The IECMS has played a pivotal role in enhancing access to justice in our jurisdiction. Öne of the key
challenges that we have had in our courts is the disappearance of files and records because they
were in hard copy.
“Now that files and records are in soft copy and are being managed electronically, the challenge of
missing records and files in respect of those courts under Phase 1 is long gone,” he said.
Chikwana hoped that as they move into the second phase, which includes the digitisation of the
Labour and Administrative Courts on February 1, those challenges will be eradicated as it is
impossible to steal a document that is in soft copy.
“Deleting is next to impossible because of the security features we have put in the system including
back up.”
Chikwanha was elated with the response from legal practitioners in implementing IECMS in
provinces they have already visited.
“Our legal practitioners are the frontline workers when it comes to litigation representing members
of the public. It is therefore important that we have their cooperation and they have been
participating in numbers,” he said.
Shamiso Muserere, the JSC deputy head digital court said they have E-filing centres in the provinces
which will help in the training of legal practitioners, registering them and helping them file cases.
Gweru legal practitioner Thelma Musoso-Mufumi of Hwende Legal Practitioners said the digitisation
of the courts was a welcome development as it brings convenience to them.
Musoso-Mufumi said although lawyers have been used to the manual system, they are willing to
move with the times.
The IECMS is a unifying platform that will connect all institutions belonging to the justice delivery
system thereby transforming all courts to become paperless and fully automated. It will among
other issues reduce case backlog and modernise the sector’s operations.

The JSC’s aim is to have the system operational in all courts and offices in the next three to five
years.

Comments are closed.