Technology continues to challenge the way traditional legal services are delivered, and justice delivery is not excluded. Technology has necessitated adjustments that are both adaptive and innovative.
The adoption of online dispute resolution mechanisms and digital justice would lighten the burden of our courts. Relying on video conferencing technology to transmit information, could reduce the high cost involved in resolving disputes. Using digital technology, the court and lawyers can now access information remotely. This includes online legal documents, as well as real-time communication & collaboration.
It is expected of the courts to take a lead role in the adoption and implementation of technology both in legal practice and justice delivery. This comes with an emphasis on the facilitation of quick and just resolution of disputes in a cost-effective manner, while not losing the human character of the courts.
Digital technology would redefine the future of the court systems in some of the following ways:
- Remote working and real-time collaboration
- Electronic scheduling
- Appropriate sentencing choices when sentencing defendants with similar profiles
- Online dispute resolution
- Automated archiving and retrieval of documents
- Virtual courts
The rise and adoption of digital justice by the courts would help to ensure justice is served with speed, efficiency and transparency at low costs while making justice accessible to all. Of course, there is a need for proper training of court personnel in order for them to meet up and function properly with the trends in digital justice. Lawyers are not excluded from the need to be tech-savvy in order to keep pace with the rapidly changing demands of society.
By Elizabeth Layeni | 8th of December, 2020