Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
As the much anticipated E-Litigation Portal was launched in the BVI for the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal, the system received great praises for its cost and time saving benefits.
The web-based portal, which has features such as electronic filing, case management and court processes, was lauded for reducing the cost of case filing and reducing the time it takes to complete certain processes, as well as the 24/7 accessibility.
Senior Associate at Harneys, Mrs. Kimberly Crabbe-Adams spoke to the time-factor affecting their work prior to the introduction of the software.
“We have very tight deadlines which we really have to manage very well. We have a 4 o’clock deadlines, we have to file at the Court, we have to get bundles together. When we file at the Court of asppeal, we have eight sets of hundreds of pieces of documents that we have to put into bundles…We have to run down to finance, get stamps…”
This new system, she says, is “so much more precise in terms of time.”
It also reduces the need for purchasing paper and other material for filing.
According to the Senior Associate, “The partners are so excited at this initiative and the money that they are going to save with not having to buy all this material.”
She later added, “We are really, truly excited about this new system that is about to go live; we welcome it. We think that we are moving into a very modern age where everything is going paperless.”
Meanwhile, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship, the Hon. Dame Janice Pereira, DBE, described the portal as “the dawn of a new day in access to justice” and “a significant milestone.”
“To say that I am excited about this is an understatement,” she stated, adding that the Acourts must be able to adapt to changes.
She reflected on a recent incident when the Appeal Court was coming to the BVI and had 30 boxes of documents needed for the hearing. They were told that the airline would not be able to facilitate the transport of the documents and were forced to utilize a private charter. Such issues, she said, will now end.
“Think about where you have a system that allows you electronically to prepare bundles online, the ability of a judge to download those bundles if they wish, or indeed to access them on a drive, or if you download them, that you can take all of those 30 boxes on one thumb drive,” she related.
Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Her Ladyship, the Hon. Dame Janice Pereira, DBE
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The E-Litigation web portal is being implemented by the ECSC in all the OECS Member States and Territories, but so far has only gone live in St. Lucia and the BVI.
The software was developed by CrimsonLogic Ltd., which is a company headquartered in Singapore, with a branch established in Trinidad and Tobago, and is expected to be implemented in all the remaining Member States of the Eastern Caribbean by the end of 2018.
Among the components of the E-Litigation system are a Judges’ portal, Attorney access, Electronic Filing, Electronic Notification, Electronic Payments, Electronic Docket (Cause List) preparation, Functionality to resolve Attorney scheduling conflicts, and Electronic Case Management, among others.