court automation

When we look at the technologies that support the digitalisation of court processes, we may stumble into various terms. But perhaps the most inclusive one is court automation. Court case management systems, court scheduling software, judicial workflow automation tools – they all are being encompassed by the term court automation. The common ground between these solutions is that they all introduce software to eliminate manual efforts for processing court cases.

court automation

The many faces of court automation

Court automation can encompass many distinct capabilities. Most often automation in court is focused on workflow processes – court case management, court scheduling, electronic filling processes, judge allocation, self-service in the courthouse, etc. The benefits of court automation are various, but they have one thing in common in all of the judicial automation projects – they reduce the manual efforts of processing court cases.

The benefits of court automation

To design and implement a court automation project is a complex endeavour. If the automation project addresses the needs of the courts and their users, then it will bring a positive outcome for everyone involved in court processes.

Related: How Court Software Solves Problems – 5 User Perspectives

The most significant benefits of court automation include:

Efficiency

Court automation projects can deliver significant efficiency improvements in managing key court processes. This is realised by court management software that can track judicial cases, schedule court meetings, trials, hearings, manage task notifications, etc. All of these features allow the automation of manual tasks that ultimately leads to faster resolving of the court case backlog.
while helping to avoid or resolve case backlogs.

Public Trust

One thing often leads to another. So is the case with efficiency in the justice sector. The fast resolving of the court case backlog inevitably increases the public trust in courts. This is not just a mere assumption, it’s a subset to various studies that prove the connection between improved efficiency and improved confidence in the justice system. Not to mention that the automation of some processes like court scheduling and notifications for hearing and remote hearings also is helping people feel like their human rights are being protected and valued.

Decision Making

It’s a complex task to manually assign cases, make a court room schedule, track the performance of judges etc. But at the moment these tasks are automated, the times that is usually spent on routine issues can now be redirected to deciding on cases. When the repetitive tasks are eliminated from the to-do lists of judges, judges can spend more time on their decision-making. This is a path that inevitably leads to improved quality of justice.

Accessible Justice

The paper-based administration of justice is often causing obstacles before the citizens. That’s why in this technological age court automation should address the storing and sharing of case information. That way all of the court users – citizens, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, administrators can have equal access to information everywhere it’s needed. This automation is usually applied via court e-filling system, self-service data submission, applications for remote hearings such as Virtual Hearing for Microsoft Teams, etc. These all, if applied right, make a valuable contribution to improving access to justice.

“Before starting any automation process, courts need to have a clear vision of their automation goals, fully understanding what is involved and what impact the desired changes will have. The court must clearly define its needs, goals, and objectives, as well as identify what processing and automation changes can be made within the existing legal framework and resource capacities and where amendments will be needed.”Dr. Heike P. Gramckow and Valerie Nussenblatt, Caseflow Management Key Principles and the Systems to Support Them

Court automation can bring various benefits for everyone in the justice system. But there are different sets of tools that enable courts to realize the potential of automation. How should a focused assessment of the issues be approached when the end goal is to find an appropriate court automation solution? Find out in our next post on the subject.

 

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