Judiciary gets modern IT system, launches website


17-March-2012

CJ Egonda-Etende addressing guests at the ceremony

The computerised case administration system of Seychelles (CCASS) and the Seychelles Legal Information Institute (Seylii) were both launched as part of the Supreme Court’s judicial reforms aiming to modernise the institution and bring it into the digital age.

The event was attended by a number of guess, such as former President James Mancham, Chief Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Attorney General Rony Govinden, secretary of state Barry Faure, president of the court of appeal Francis Macgregor, cabinet ministers, members of the diplomatic corps and magistrates.

The two projects are the result of partnerships with different organisations – both governmental and non-governmental – and countries in the region, all with interests in the development of the judiciary in Seychelles.

CCASS is a case management system software that the chief justice of Uganda has allowed Seychelles – after a request by his Seychelles counterpart Mr Egonda-Ntende – to use and modify to fit the local context at no cost and has been implemented here by Ugandan consultant James Mukuwa.

The installation of the new system was funded by the British High Commission as part of the ongoing work to support the justice system under the UK’s anti-piracy programme.

Demonstrating the use of the new computerised court management system

Mr Egonda-Ntende said the software alone would have cost the judiciary some US $600,000 and would have taken anything from three to five years to develop.

“More work needs to be done to achieve the full functionality of the programmes in our environment and to extend full functionality of the programme to the Magistrates’ Court and the Court of Appeal,” he said.

“In the meantime, we have got a system which is fully functional here in the Supreme Court. The system will allow us to move from the manual registering of cases and processing them, to an electronic system, allowing us to automate certain processes, including producing certain key documents like the cause list and management reports for purposes of monitoring and evaluating our performance as an organisation. Once fully implemented it will also cut down on the time needed to execute certain basic but time-consuming tasks.”

The Seylii website – also launched at the event – is dedicated to publishing on-line Seychelles’ primary legal information, legislation and case law.

Mr Egonda-Ntende said that a nation that publishes its legislation on-line as well as the decisions of its courts applying that law, is a nation ready to embrace the world through transparency.

“In the process it is bound to attract further foreign investment given the transparency of the institutions charged with protection of the rights of all including that of foreign investors,” he said.

“Seylii should make it easier for practitioners and judges to research the law, prepare for cases for hearing and to write fairly researched judgements and decisions. It should point to increased qualitative output by the judiciary.”

He also said that the spectre of empty courts from 9am to 3.30pm every working day is an indication that judges and magistrates must pull up their socks, and that it will not do to blame other players in the justice system for delays that continue to fester the system.

Having said that, Mr Egonda-Ntende then officially launched the CCASS and Seylii website and dedicate them to the service of the people of Seychelles.

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