20 years ago the only way to open and store a court case file was the paper folder. Case folders tend to become thicker and bigger with time. Collecting official forms, requests, resolutions, images, etc. turned into time-consuming and expensive task.
A few decades ago, paper-based document management was the only known technology to move casework in courts. Fortunately, the digital revolution optimized this process. Now cloud adoption of judicial case management is not a futuristic technology, but a sure thing of the present.
Before being applied in the realms of justice, case management was a technology widely used in sectors such as banking, finances, social services, healthcare. As time went by, other sectors recognised this technology as a good tool to save time and expenses on document management.
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Judicial case management is all that but also more. It’s a mean for achieving effective reforms in the justice systems. It evolves together with the court landscape and constantly responds to the changing needs of court users.
Courts today are streamlining and automating their processes with advanced case management. Long story short, the court case management software records and stores data in a way that ensures swift decision making.
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The application of court case management solutions goes hand-to-hand with the constant evolving of technology. To be able to build and follow a roadmap for the future of judicial case management, one must know the current challenges and opportunities for courts. After the relatively turbulent 2020, 2021 comes as a possible predecessor for financial recession. That’s why one of the most actual challenges and opportunities in front of the justice systems are budget-related.
If we go back to 2008 and have a look at the state of courts across US, we’ll see that the financial recession worsened the financial situation for courts. Bad finances often result in budget cuts. Fast-forward to 2021 and the prospect of new financial recession seems to be very close again. It means that the focus towards cost-saving measures is about to sharpen.
Looking back at 2008, we will see that the measures that were being taken in courts as a response to the budget constraints were lay offs and cutting personnel. These measures impacted their ability to manage cases and caseloads. This is a big problem because the judiciary ecosystem is more specific than the rest of the government sectors. A disruption in the ability of courts to manage judicial cases impacts seriously the public and the people’s right to access justice.
Fortunately, 2021 is far different than 2008. Now we’re living in the age of the cloud. Court case management can be easily transformed into a cloud-based end-to-end solution. The use of court case management software allows courts to streamline their casework with pre-defined objectives and automatically generated constraints by creating an effective framework that will allow court processes to move on with minimal disruption. Such a move makes courts immune to any disruptions in the casework that may be caused by covid-19 or budget cuts.
A big share of court budgets is assigned to personnel. That’s why when the financial situation requires budget cuts, one of the most common actions in state courts after 2008 was cutting personnel. This action directly impacts the court’s ability to deliver justice services in a timely and inexpensive manner. Courts aren’t immune to budget cuts. But in 2021 courts can be immune to lags in casework processing with the help of judicial case management system.
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Unlike the rest of the government sectors, it’s not easy for courts to respond to the budget cuts by postponing judicial proceedings and block their case backlog. With judicial case management systems today courts can optimize their proceedings even when number of caseworkers is being reduced.
Court procedures are regulated by the government. The purpose of regulations is to ensure that courts deliver justice to all citizens in a timely manner. Judicial case management systems help courts to comply with these regulations. The use of advanced case management technology is one of the proven ways to ensure that court staff is going to keep working on specific tasks until compliance requirements are met.
20 years ago court case files collected information from different ends – judges, lawyers, self-presented litigants, etc. At different points, different information was being added to this folder. With cloud-based court case management, more information can be easily added to each folder. This makes the task orchestration easier to manage with more options and shortcuts for fast and efficient processing.
Court cases generate much information in continuous periods of time. Case management systems enhanced with AI algorithms can do more with this data by making suggestions on how certain type of case should be handled to achieve faster and more efficient resolution. This by no means replaces the need for human judgement in the processing of court cases, but it makes the decision making swifter and enables court users to do more with less. A purpose that is served successfully by AI.
Digital justice demands the highest level of security. It’s a crucial and sensitive area of the public sector. That’s why judicial case management solutions usually provide secure data encryption so that only authorised personnel can access data and use it for work.
The rise in the use of cloud in recent years is not just a technology fashion. Cloud represents the secure way of adopting case management software in the public sector. The justice ecosystem needs a reliable and secure solution when it comes to transforming courts. Cloud technology is allowing the system to do so without having to worry about back-ups and data security.
Things change fast. Especially in the post-pandemic era, we’re about the enter. The only constant thing is that changes are what’s going to make court case management more essential for the justice sector. Courts will keep looking for opportunities to overcome budget cuts. With emerging technologies on the side, that can happen without disrupting the processing of casework. And for what its worth, the achieving of a long-term cost-optimisation may even immune courts to budget cuts and lay-offs may become a thing of the past for good.
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