Philippine will implement E-Court System in Major Cities – Supreme Court Chief Justice said

Supreme Court Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno revealed yesterday, during her first "Meet the Press" session, that the Supreme Court will be relying heavily on technology to accomplish major reforms in the justice system.

She commented that more than half of litigation time is consumed by the filing of pleadings, sending notifications to lawyers, prosecutors and other parties before a single case is terminated or decided by the court.

"We are trying to find a system for electronic notices. Imagine if you are notified by SMS for the case calendar, and we also received corresponding confirmation by email, we will cut down the two months it takes for the postal return card to be given back to the court," Sereno said.

"However, the problem of decongestion and the problem of prolonged litigation has to be solved by a menu of solutions; not a single solution is sufficient," she said.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno said the most important reform being considered by the Supreme Court is the establishment of an electronic court system (e-Court system) in major cities where there is an urgent need to decongest the backlogs of cases.

The e-Court system will improve the processes of capturing, storing and accessing documents filed at the branch courts so as to avoid duplicated data and repetition in the administrative processes.

Additionally, the new system would also help erase perceptions that "money is leaking in the court system" because the cases will now be "raffled" off electronically and the fees will be automatically assessed by the system.

Its pilot trial was launched at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court last month, and will serve as a model once it is rolled out in all courts nationwide.

"Technology will get rid of redundant procedures to ensure that we can provide citizens with quality justice within reasonable time," she said.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court is also considering setting up electronic kiosks in major cities so that lawyers and can simply scan their pleadings and mail it through for the electronic filing system.

"The beauty of electronic kiosks in major cities is that the judge can identify which case should be given priority since the system has an aging system for the detention time of a prisoner," she said.

News source: Asia Pacific Future Gov

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