Video conference brings virtual courts to Kenya

KENYA’S judiciary has launched the country’s first ever video conferencing solution for the hearing of cases in a partnership between Cisco, Safaricom, and the judiciary.

The first case was televised from Mombasa city where the Court of Appeal heard three cases via video conference where the bench sat in Nairobi while the respective lawyers were in Mombasa.

Launching the Judiciary ICT Policy and Strategic plan at the Nairobi High Court, Chief Justice Evan Gicheru said the adoption of technology would speed up the delivery of justice.

“Virtual courts have the potential to transform how the justice system deals with cases. They are vital in the drive to deliver swift justice, resolving cases faster and improving service given to victims, witnesses and defendants,” said Gicheru.

Video conferencing is among other ICT initiatives to be adopted by the courts in the next three years including digitalisation of court records and electronic recording of proceedings.

via Video conference brings virtual courts to Kenya.

Nigerian judge calls for e-administration of criminal justice

Chief Justice Hassan Gummi has called for Nigeria to embrace ICT for the efficient delivery of justice in the country. “Especially now that it is possible to sit anywhere in the country and coordinate crime in any other state of Nigeria, there is need to embrace the Internet as a tool for justice delivery”, he said. Speaking at a summit on expediting the trial of criminal suspects held in Abuja, he asked “ Have we considered for once how our criminal justice administration will be given a boost if, for instance, the office of the Attorney-General can have access to all data relating to the activities of the various agencies by one push of the button?”

He charged the participants to consider the provision and maintenance of a computerized filing system of accurate and timely documented criminal justice information. “The information in this system would include details on wanted persons, criminal history information, missing persons information, information compiled in the process of investigating crimes, including information on identifiable individuals compiled in an effort to anticipate, prevent or monitor possible criminal activity. From this data bank there will be computerized criminal history, automated finger print identification system, incident-based crime reporting system, case information management system and DNA data bank.”

Gummi however stressed that the success for the data bank depends on qualified manpower. “Without training the necessary manpower that will manage and maintain the required systems, our criminal justice system will still be in its present state if not in a worse state”, he ended.

via Okoro Chinedu at, 17 Feb 2010