The Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS) has proven to provide rapid and efficient justice, which enables courts to address the issue of accumulation of case backlog, Chief Justice Sam Rugege has said.
Prof. Rugege made the remarks in Muhanga District on Monday as he opened judges training in the system use at the Rwanda Management Institute (RMI).
A total of 196 judges and court registrars from four provinces of the country are attending the five-day training ahead of countrywide roll-out of the system by the justice sector on September 19.
The web-based application is intended to ensure efficient justice service accessible from anywhere to the citizen, automatic case archiving and tracking as well as accuracy and transparency among other purposes.
“The system enables advanced file keeping which prevents file damage or loss. It also helps fast sharing of information and documents between court personnel themselves, between judicial personnel and their leaders, as well as between courts and people who come up to them for services,” he said.
Prof. Rugege said the system benefits judges because the judge can, through the IECMS, access all documents making up a dossier more easily compared to the current system which took a long time for the judge to look for a specific document in a large dossier.
The system has been operational only in the City of Kigali for the last nine months, according to Rugege.
He said besides enabling lawyers and other people who seek judicial services to file their cases to courts without necessitating to go to courts, “it solved many issues, for both defendants and plaintiffs.”
The Chief Justice said the system helps save time and money that could be spent on movement to and from court.
“Our aim as the justice sector is to deliver rapid and transparent justice. For us to achieve such a goal there is a need to set up broad lines of what should be done and strategies to accomplish that. One of those strategies is to use technology,” said Rugege.
Jean de Dieu Habineza, the registrar of Nyarugenge Intermediate Court, said the system has inconsiderable benefits for court personnel.
The system has space designed for the defendant or plaintiff, court registrar, judge, and everyone is given a password for access, ensuring privacy protection along the process.
The Ministry of Justice says the system development contract was signed on December 29, 2014, between the ministry and an American company, Synergy International Systems, at a cost of more than Rwf1.25 billion.
The contract implementation is 22 months period, with 10 months for system development (January–October 2015) and 12 months period for support and maintenance (November 2015 to November 2016).
The system also consists of institutional integration and coordination among Rwanda National Police, National Public Prosecution Authority, Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice and Rwanda Correctional Services.
Others are National Identification Agency, Rwanda Revenue Authority, and Rwanda Natural Resources Authority. It helps ease data collection and processing.