Address by the Hon. Acting Chief Justice at the Signing of Contract for E-Filing Installation
Honourable Attorney-General of Fiji Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (National Authorized Officer – Access to Justice Project)
His Excellency Mr. Sujiro Seam, European Union Head of Delegation for the Pacific
Mr. Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative of the UNDP Pacific
Mr. Michal Krejza, Head of Corporation, European Union
Director of Public Prosecutions
Deputy Commissioner FICAC
President, Fiji Law Society
Director Legal Aid Commission
Director Fiji Human Rights & Anti-Discrimination Commission
Representatives from European Union and UNDP
Members of E-filing Committee
Thank you all for your presence here to witness the signing of E-filing Installation Contract for Judicial Department.
One of the key aspects of providing Access to Justice is to ensure that we have inexpensive and effective system which is quick. The current process of filing document after document before a case can be ready for trial is no doubt very time consuming and turns out to be costly. We should therefore be ready to accept the changes brought about by technological developments over the years. Judicial Department, not only in Fiji, but in other countries including few developed nations have been slow to change the system. However, we must know, that where we are today is only because of changes brought to the past practice and procedure. This obviously means, changes brought about today will become tomorrow’s standard way of doing things.
I am sure, you all will agree with me that, the hallmark of a democratic society is the provision of access to justice to members of the general public. A fair, just and efficient legal system also instils confidence in investors who choose to invest in Fiji. Therefore, we must, in line with technological development, better the provision of legal services to the members of our community.
It must be acknowledged that the installation of e-filing system will cause a bit of difficulty to some legal practitioners and members of the public. We must be ready and willing to accept the change which is for betterment of the whole society and beneficial in the long run.
No doubt e-filing system will supplement and contribute to our Government’s plan and policies to reduce carbon emission and save us from drastic effects of climate change. This is also in line with Government’s Digital and Transformation Programme.
Upon installation of electronic system, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Courts and Magistrates Courts will be managed systematically and simultaneously online.
The establishment of an electronic case management system embodies our aspiration to strengthen efficiency and accountability in the Judicial system, as elaborate din our Strategic Plan and will also contribute to our Government’s plan and policies to reduce carbon emission and save us from effects of drastic climate change.
McGirr Technologies of Australia have been appointed to install the e-filing software and train us after a detailed tender process by the Committee.
I thank the EU for sponsoring the Access to Justice Programme and UNDP for managing he Programme efficiently and with dedication.
I must take this opportunity to thank all those involved for your contribution and assistance so far. I particularly thank:-
- Ms Julie Vandassen from UNDP;
- Krishan Prasad DR–Legal, Mr. Nisar Ali, Mr. Settu Balakrishnan, Mr. Ponijese Bainimoli, Mr. Tomasi Buli, Mr. Shivendra Deo and Mr. Reenesh Latchman;
- Ms Seema Chand and Ms Nazia Ali from the Office of the Attorney-General of Fiji for vetting the Contract and advising the Committee.
I certainly look forward to your continued support and assistance towards the installation and operation of online filing system for all Courts in Fiji.
The latest news is that Cyclone Yasa is now rated as category 5 and moving closer to Fiji. Please take all necessary precautions and keep listening to the weather news. I sincerely hope and pray that, no or minimum damage is caused to our beloved country and our people.
Thank you for listening.
Acting Chief Justice