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How electronic case management system is alleviating judicial act

Residents across Gicumbi and Burera District hail the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS), a digital way of handling cases saying it has been productive since its existence.

Officially from June 1 2017, all courts countrywide started operating under the IECMS. The system was initiated by the Rwanda Justice, Reconciliation, Law and Order Sector in December 2014.

The implication is that complainants can now file cases to the Supreme Court, the High Court and its chambers, the Commercial High Court and other commercial courts, to the intermediate courts and primary courts, online.

The IECMS was developed as one of the remedies towards reducing delays and transaction costs associated with judicial cases and generally to improve the provision of access to justice through the entire justice chain from Investigation to Correctional Service.

Reactions from different people especially complainants point out that the new system has been effective compared to previously where they usually used papers filing their judicial cases.

“What is good with the new system is that we are no longer wasting our time with manuscript framework, during the era where we used to file our cases on paper it was not an easy task as it took you to wait for the registrar to serve people queuing in front of his office, sometimes you might miss the registrar despite a ticket used.” said Odette Twagirimana, a resident from Rubaya Sector, Gicumbi District.

“Therefore, with the new technology the case is immediately filed to the court president within seconds and you get information on it without necessarily leaving your home. it helps us to save our time and resources.” she added

Yvette Uwantege, the president of the Intermediate Court of Gicumbi, said that for a complainant to have an access to the IECMS one’s has to first of all deposit the court fees which vary depending to a court jurisdiction.

For primary court a complaint pays Rwf 25,000, Rwf 50,000 for the High court and its chamberes, Rwf 75,000 for the Intermediate Court and Rwf 100,000 for the Supreme Court. Whoever involved in a case uses the platform available at https://iecms.gov.rw/en/ and follows it up online as communicated by the Ministry of Justice.

Uwantege testifies that the platform has been fruitful to magistrates as they can now follow a filed case wherever they are without necessary staying in offices.

“For us the magistrates the work has been alleviated , we used to have so many cases to follow that required us to stay in offices for long but nowadays with an internet on either your phone or laptop wherever you are you should do a follow up at any filed case and start arranging the hearing.” she assured

Uwantege cites that on side of court “There are no challenges with the IECMS so far”, emphasizing that “the system is so much important”.

However, complainants especially those who reside in upcountry areas decry Rwf 10,000 they are charged while filing cases at internet café, raising a concern that the cost should be revised to their capacity.

“The transaction fee seems to be expensive as it is not easy for every one of us to get Rwf 10,000 that we pay while filing case online in addition of the criminal procedure fee. If possible the government should revise this matter whereby we may at least pay Rwf 1,000.” says Clémentine Uwineza, from Bungwe Sector, Burera District.

The IECMS has been recently awarded for its innovation at the prestigious Top 10 Court Technology Solutions Awards ceremony that took place at the National Association for Court Management annual conference in Washington, DC on July 13, 2017.

The Express News

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