Relocation plan delays digital recording in commercial courts

Trials in commercial courts will continue to be recorded manually until after relocation to Nyamirambo premises, which are home to the high court, the Vice President of Commercial High Court has revealed.

Trials in commercial courts will continue to be recorded manually until after relocation to Nyamirambo premises, which are home to the high court, the Vice President of Commercial High Court has revealed.

Benoît Gatete told The Business Times that the installation of digital recorders, which were expected operational by mid this year, could not be done at the old premises after government proposed that the courts move to Nyamirambo.

He explained that the commercial courts will move from Kisementi in Remera to government owned premises.

The Nyamirambo based High Court will relocate to the new building behind the Supreme Court at the Ministry of Justice.

“I think delays in completing of the proposed High Court building is the problem.

Once the High Court relocates, we will also relocate and installation will begin immediately,” Gatete explained.

The project will break the traditional way of manually recording court proceedings and also assist people to access court documents online.

This could also pave way for the digital system to be expanded to other courts where records are manually entered.

“There are times when the registry is not writing the correct information during court proceedings,” he said.

Commercial courts where established May last year with the support of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), a private-public partnership focused on improving the continent’s investment climate by removing obstacles to domestic and foreign investment and promoting Africa as an attractive investment destination.

Official statistics shows that the courts have cleared a total of 4,737 commercial disputes, leaving 1,254 backlog cases pending countrywide as of July this year since establishment.

The cleared cases represent 79 percent of the 5,991 recorded commercial disputes since the establishment of commercial courts.

The 21 percent of pending cases has been attributed to the limited number of commercial judges in the country.

Just like the concentration of businesses in Rwanda, Nyarugenge Court received the highest number of commercial cases.

The Kigali City based court had 3,288 cases. However, 2778 cases have been cleared representing 84.5 percent clearance.

Huye district in Southern Province and Musanze district in the Northern Province have the least with 43 and 36 pending cases respectively.

The High Commercial Court (HCC) has cleared 496 of 1,161 cases recorded. This means that the high court cleared on 43 percent with 57 percent of cases pending.

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