Consultants coming to examine Supreme Court backlog
Supreme Court Justice Bernard Turner said Thursday that an outside entity has been chosen and will begin to evaluate the Supreme Court’s system on Monday in order to address ongoing backlog issues.
“The successful bidder, as we understand, comes in on Monday next week to begin a review of the workflows of the entire Supreme Court; both on the civil and on the criminal side of that institution, with the aim that at the end of that process we have an actionable road map for the effective implementation of solutions to our challenges,” Turner said at a Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) press conference last week.
The court system has been experiencing serious backlog issues since at least 2002.
In 2012, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson disclosed in the Senate that she believed over 400 people charged with murder since 2002 were still on bail.
Turner added that if the system is to be successful, a technological upgrade is needed.
“At the same time as the consultants are coming in to look at our workflow, we are also seeking to engage in what we had identified…at a previous conference in late 2017 as a possible solution to our communication and information technology challenges,” Turner said.
“We are engaging with the persons who are responsible for that technology so that, that can be implemented within the judiciary on a trial basis at the same time as the consultants are looking at the way in which we do our business.”
Turner said that additional upgrades will allow for public access to court information.
“…We are seeking to redevelop a website for the Supreme Court so that both the cases which all of our hard-working judges are producing, the authorities, the decisions of the court are able to be made available to members of the public,” Turner said.
“We’re also looking at being able to provide, again to members of the public, the information relative to when matters are coming up so that we will have a calendaring function on that website as well.
“And when ultimately, we’re able to implement the information and communication technology solution, that we will also be able to move the judiciary more fully into the 21st century by the introduction of electronic filing of court documents and other processes.”