SA's justice system goes high-tech

2011-10-06 14:39
Johannesburg - South Africa's justice is going high-tech with a system that will prevent meddling with case files, high court Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann said on Thursday.

"With this system, judges will be given an electronic case file the moment a case is opened. The electronic files will be saved in a server and will have certain features to prevent meddling," he said.

Bertelsmann was talking at the Consumer Goods Council of SA's annual conference in Johannesburg. He said the new system was decided on at a national judiciary meeting in 2009, and was being initiated this year.

"Previous chief justice Sandile Ngcobo endorsed this model and his enthusiasm has been carried over with new Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng," Bertelsmann said.

Backlogs


In July, Ngcobo said the system would prevent a backlog of trials.

"While it previously took hours or days to send documents from one point to another, now this can be done in seconds via e-mail," he said.

"If the proper systems are in place and the necessary hardware available, it is now possible for busy judges to access court documents from anywhere."

Bertelsmann said the overhaul would revitalise a criminal justice system "creaky in its joints".

"We have 40 000 people awaiting trial in prisons. Some are granted bail, and others can't even raise R300 needed for bail.

"It is unfair that we punish people at a cost to ourselves that is greater than R300, because these people are poor. That does not sit well with a Constitution that demands equality and dignity."

Bertelsmann said the current justice system brought out the worst qualities in people.

"The profession of law produces strife, conflict, greed and bitterness. We are hoping to change these inefficient, musty and impractical processes."

US, Singapore models


He said the new system was based on models used in the United States of America and in Singapore.

"We went there and saw that each judge has two desktop computers and they determine the timeframes through which a trial occurs. Every step in the judiciary process is overseen by the judge."

He said an efficient, and technologically advanced system would benefit the consumer goods council as well.

"How would we deal with crime, protect brands and patents, guard against unfair competition and protect labourers from being exploited if we never had courts?" the judge asked.

"We are embarking on a very exciting trek... that has filled us with optimism. This new process demands a new culture, and we need the support of all members of civil society, including consumer organisations."

The system required judges to undergo a training programme.

"Law is always about learning, because things change very often," Bertelsmann said.

"We do need to train people to deal with the system, especially older people like myself, who might find it harder to understand the technology. All of this is going to take time."

- SAPA
Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  sandile ngcobo  |  judiciary
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
88 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

10 facts about swimming you didn't know

This will make you want to jump right into the pool.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Inspiring: Rock climbing with just one leg
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big thing....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.