East African Community Chief Justices call for far-reaching digital strategy

Chief Justices drawn from the East African Community (EAC) members States have challenged respective governments to increase resource allocation for respective Judiciaries in order to enhance delivery of justice.

The top justices, who included Kenya’s David Maraga, Uganda’s Bart Katureebe, Tanzania’s Ibrahim Hamis Juma, and South Sudan’s Chan Reec Madut, noted that current allocations remained below the globally recommended threshold of 2.5 per cent of the national budget.

“While we recognise and appreciate that financial resources of our countries are limited, the current financial allocations are less than the needs of the Judiciaries to deliver quality and effective services to the citizenry,” the Chief Justices pointed out in a joint communiqué read by Uganda’s Katureebe following a three-day East African Community Chief Justices Forum (EACJF) in Nairobi.

Already, selected courts are piloting electronic filing systems, online assessment of court fees and the rollout of speech to text software which will facilitate automatic transcription of proceedings.

The Judiciary also targets 100 per cent transition to mobile money payment systems with 80 per cent of court stations reported to be using mobile money according to the State the Judiciary and the Administration of Justice Report (SOJAR) 2016-2017 released in December last year by CJ Maraga.

The rollout of the Judiciary Financial Management Information System (JFMIS) is also underway with the ultimate goal of enhancing accountability and transparency.

“The implementation of a far-reaching digital strategy that will not only transform the way our courts work but also how the public interacts with us,” Maraga pointed out at the time the report was being released.

“This will not only speed the hearing of cases but will also help us maintain the integrity of court records,” he added.

Source: EAC Chief Justices urge enhanced budgets; pledge to back integration » Capital News