14 May 2019 at 13:38 BST

South Africa implements paperless courts

South African OCJ is implementing paperless digital courtrooms nationally after selecting provider of digital evidence management.

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Chosen by the South African Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ), CaseLines is a tool to help meet the OCJ’s vision for a single, transformed and independent judicial system with integrity and protection for all.

Access to justice

The software, which is initially to be used in all civil litigation cases across South Africa, will eliminate the need for paper in court by introducing an entirely digital platform. The software’s tools allow the creation and presentation of a fully digital bundle including multi-media evidence; collaboration tools for enhanced pre-trial preparation and secure role validated videoconferencing for virtual hearings. Today, legal professionals in South Africa travel long distances to access case material. Judges as far as 1000km away in Pretoria can be called to Cape Town at unsocial hours just to review legal documents for urgent cases. With challenging transport infrastructure across the country, this process incurs considerable time and cost. CaseLines provides a digital solution to this challenge, helping to increase efficiency and security surrounding legal proceedings. CaseLines will allow judges and lawyers to work efficiently in a secure online environment, saving costs of copying and transporting paper files, and at the same time removing the risk of losing or misplacing files. Judge Edwin Molahlehi, in the high court of Gauteng said “One of the OCJ’s objectives is to eliminate financial and practical barriers to justice. By adopting CaseLines, South African courts will become more efficient and processes such as physical filing will become obsolete. This will make a huge difference to both judges and litigants and will bring us closer to achieving access to justice for all citizens.”

Positive trial

The opportunity was presented by CaseLines’ South Africa reseller Tirisan Tech Solutions, who will provide local implementation services, training and support, over the lifecycle of the contract. Rendani Ramabulana, managing director at Tirisan Tech Solutions and recently appointed member of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) added: “So far we have received incredibly positive feedback from judges trialling the system and we look forward to offering hands on technical support during the software’s implementation.” Paul Sachs, chief technology officer and founder of CaseLines, said “Now in use in South Africa and across countries in East Africa, CaseLines is helping nations meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16, supporting improvements in the Rule of Law by revolutionising the speed and quality in delivery of justice across Africa.”

 
   
 
 
 

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