Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 18, 2019 (SKNIS): The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) officially launched its E-Litigation Portal in St. Kitts and Nevis on Monday, November 18, 2019, formally ushering in a new era that the regional court has embraced.
The launch was held at the Sir Lee L. Moore Judicial and Legal Services Complex and was attended by officials from the ECSC, as well as Governor-General’s Deputy, Mr. Michael Morton, members of the St. Kitts and Nevis judicial service and legal fraternity, Commissioner of Police, Hilroy Brandy, and other senior officials.
E-Litigation streamlines the components of judicial processes covering areas such as electronic court filings, electronic case management, billing collection, and court scheduling. Users of the secure web-based service can access the e-Litigation Portal anywhere and at any time using a smart device.
ECSC Chief Justice, Her Ladyship the Honourable Dame Janice Pereira, noted that today’s ceremony marked the “fourth launch” of the E-Litigation Portal. The portal was activated in St. Kitts and Nevis on September 20, 2019, but scheduling conflicts delayed the official launching ceremony up until now. Five member states of the ECSC, namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, and Saint Lucia have benefited from the use of the portal.
The chief justice noted that the portal uses software developed by Crimson Logic, a company based in Singapore. The software is a significant upgrade to the current system that the court uses and is in keeping with efforts to improve the administration of justice.
“The court must be able to respond to [the] ever-growing and ever-changing needs of our society,” Chief Justice Pereira said.
Some of the benefits of the E-Litigation Portal that were highlighted include reducing scheduling conflicts for court hearings, enhancing online search capabilities of cases (no more standing in line at the Registrar’s Office), increasing cost savings associated with printing and other administrative duties, and promoting transparency as document submissions are automatically dated and time-stamped.
“Now sometimes, some of us … do not respond to change well,” the chief justice noted, adding that persons often prefer to stay in comfort zones. “But change is both necessary and inevitable. Changing is how we grow, how we accomplish, how we remain relevant. Unless we change, we will become stagnant and we will be left behind.”
Chief Justice Pereira urged legal practitioners to “embrace the change of how you do business. You will reap the benefits [and] by extension the entire society will reap the benefits. You will make the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis more competitive and aid in its growth and development.”
Her Ladyship the Honourable Dame Pereira added “I look to the future, the positive things that we can achieve together. So, let us look to the future together and move forward together in building a more efficient, transparent and accountable judiciary at all levels.”
According to eccourts.org, The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) was established in 1967 by the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Order No. 223 of 1967. The ECSC is a superior court of record for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which includes six Independent States: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and three British Overseas Territories: Anguilla, The British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat. The Court has unlimited jurisdiction in each Member State and Territory.