Introduction of ICTs to courts: workshop for attorneysOct 21, 2015
October 20-21, 2015 – more than 30 practicing attorneys from Tashkent and Tashkent region participated in a workshop on introduction of ICTs in courts and improvement of civil litigation process. The workshop was held at “Poytakht” Business Center and organized by the joint project of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) "Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan" in cooperation with the Chamber of Lawyers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Introduction of new approaches to work of the civil courts, in particular introduction of information and communication technologies and other innovations enhancing transparency and enabling access to information about the courts, require the involvement of all relevant stakeholders. Particularly, apart from the judges and court personnel, who’s workflow is being altered due to the new technologies, the engagement of direct users of court services and attorneys in a constructive dialogue is essential.
Over the course of the workshop, attorneys discussed the goals and objectives of ICTs introduction into courts, namely «E-SUD» e-justice system, its advantages and workflow, as well as its architecture and the progress of scaling-up to additional courts. Participants were trained how to use the system, explored the system’s additional features for external users e.g. authorization in the system, existing services for external users, filing the case to the relevant court etc., that is the actions to be performed by attorneys while directly working with the system.
In addition, the attorneys discussed issues related to the introduction and application of audio-visual recording of court proceedings, as well as the publication of case files (especially decisions and rulings) on the Internet. These innovations will ensure the transparency and efficiency of the judicial process. Specifically, the attorneys unanimously supported the idea to introduce the audio-video recording system, since it will improve the transparency and efficiency of judicial process. Due to a full trial record, the parties will have to improve their attitude, and in case of controversial issues, the attorneys will have an opportunity to refer to the original audio-visual records, thus minimizing procedural violations. In terms of the publication of courts’ decisions on-line, the participants brought forward various arguments, since while improving transparency and efficiency of civil litigation, the issue of confidentiality should also be taken into account.
As a result of the workshop, the presented suggestions and recommendations related to introduction of audio-video recording of court proceedings, as well as the publication of judicial decisions on the Internet from practitioners will help to create a real picture of the existing issues, and improve the civil litigation process.
*‘E-SUD’ electronic case management system allows the users to file cases to civil courts, attach relevant documents, monitor the case progress, as well as access to the courts’ rulings and decisions through the user profile in ‘E-SUD’. The system allows to minimize case disposition time, as well as the number of cases reviewed due to the improved efficiency of the services provided to citizens and the general public.