The judiciary is set to introduce an Electronic Filing System (EFS) that will enable the public to file cases electronically, enabling the justice system to be more efficient.
Speaking at the EFS stakeholders’ orientation meeting at the Supreme Court, yesterday, Johnstone Busingye, the president of the High Court, said that EFS responds to the needs of the legal community as well as the general public.
Busingye also doubles as the Chairperson of the Judicial IT Committee.
“EFS main purpose is to disseminate information to the public and legal communities, like retrieval of cause lists/ case rolls. It will allow the legal community to register cases as well as file case documents online,” he said.
Busingye added that the system would reduce postal fees and paper expenditure related to filing court documents and also hasten the response time in processing documents by court staff.
“Traditionally, court documents are filed manually over the court registry counter in paper form. With EFS, litigants can submit documents, request for electronic copies of the documents and serve them to other law firms without leaving their offices,” he noted.
“They will not need to make physical trips to the Courts or other law firms, hence saving precious time.”
Busingye noted that in order to encourage proper usage of EFS, a voluntary pilot program shall be put in place for lawyers to experience the advantages of filing documents electronically, and to identify problems that might arise from using the system.
Charles Kaliwabo, the spokesman of the judiciary, said that the use of EFS will mark a paradigm shift in the civil litigation process which had hitherto relied on paper work.
“The pilot phase for the use of the system will commence next month to enable us identify and address problems before they surface when the use of EFS is made compulsory,” he asserted.
Kaliwabo explained that filing at the court premises is confined to the normal working hours of the court. However, EFS will allow law firms to file and serve documents or request for extract copies 24 hours a day.