Platform to monitor work of court officers launched

L-R Chief of Party Duteze Imbere Ubutabera Irainei Cocos, Chief Justice Prof Sam Rugege, Mission Director of US AID Leslie Marbury during the Launch of Judicial Performance and Monitoring System at Kigali on Monday(Craish Bahizi)

On Monday 25th November, the Judiciary of Rwanda launched a Judiciary Performance, Monitoring & Evaluation System (JPMS).

It will help in evaluating the performance and action implementation of judicial sector on a daily basis, according to officials.

The system comes after successful implementation of Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS) for tracking, processing, and reporting against all cases across the Justice, Rule of Law, and Order Sector (JRLOS).

The JPMS will complement the achievements of IECMS by monitoring judiciary’s performance of strategic plans and activities, the officials added.

Through the tool, performance of judicial officers including judges and registrars will be tracked and measured against targets set under the judiciary's strategic plan and annual plans of action as well as budget execution. 

During the launch, Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege applauded the system saying it was timely and will ease the evaluation of judicial officers.

He added that since data will be at disposal of everyone, the system will be more transparent and objective.

“The monitoring and evaluation is going to be serious and done on a daily basis. The primary will not be distorted since it will be public,” he told participants at the launch.

The inauguration of the platform coincided with the launch of the Judicial Week.

The platform will not only serve evaluators but also beneficiaries.

“If anybody wants to follow up which cases were solved or adjourned, the platform will immediately bring the data to them. So people can follow up on cases much easily,” explained Niceson Karungi, Business Analyst and Software Specialist at the Supreme court.

Easy evaluations and accountability

Riziki Isabelle, president of Musanze Intermediate Court told The New Times that JPMS will ease evaluation and hold judges and courts accountable.

“I do not think we will be pressured because we are already familiar with EICMS that is already in use. But since the performance will be open and evaluated regularly, we will be held accountable,” she said.  

The first phase of the system has been successfully rolled out and it fetches data from IECMS to track court performance based on set indicators such as rate of case backlog, percentage of overturned cases at appeal level, average time a case takes to be judged, rate of case adjournment toward the vision of attaining independent judiciary that delivers timely and quality judgments.

The system also links these indicators to judicial objectives and vision in order to show the level of achievement as well as comparing this achievement to the budget allocated and spent on different implemented activities.

Within the same window, different indicators can be compared to assess progress and the system joins to support the (IECMS) that is already in use.

In February, IECMS was credited by the judiciary’s Inspector General that since its establishment in 2016, the electronic filing system, has helped complainants to file cases and keep track of their progress using online facilities.

It increased filed cases from 50,102 cases between 2015/2016 to 63,360 in 2017/2018.

The platform was developed by Synergy International Systems Inc. a global software company that recently opened operations in Rwanda.

The same firm developed the IECMS, which has revolutionalised services in the country's judicial sector.