Rwanda: Courts to Be Linked Digitally


In a bid to ease the activities of the judicial sector in the country, courts will, from next month, be digitally interlinked. In an interview with The New Times, the president of the High Court, Johnston Busingye, said that an ICT program connecting 22 courts, including the Supreme Court, High Court, Commercial Courts and courts of higher instance, will soon be launched.

"The ICT programme will transform the way we work. Probably by the end of next year, we will be receiving cases online, without people coming here to lodge their complaints," Busingye said.

The new system, he said, will also be linked to the Ministry of Justice, Prosecution and Prisons Service to determine court calendars.

This will be the first phase in the decentralisation of the system, which Busingye said will later be open to public to lodge their cases online.

"The first phase will take about a year. We want to first see if we are producing to our maximum. We want to exhaust that area using various management techniques We are trying to be as paperless as we can, though we can not shift completely.

"We invested in software that we think is going to totally revolutionise the working of courts. It will reduce movement, produce more accuracy, provide more information and reduce the number of stages a case goes through in terms of preparation," added Busingye. He explained that the judges will be reading the cases online contrary to the present system of physical files.

"On the day of hearing, we will be having computers in courtrooms for both sides (judges and litigants). But by the time of launch, if we will not have acquired the computers, litigants will, for the time being, be using physical files. The judgments will also be put online," he stated.

Once opened to the public, those seeking court services will file their cases from their homes, offices or internet cafes."That will take some time, but we are determined to get there. We want people to be coming here only on the hearing of their cases. We think this system will help reduce the number of people who go to courts to lodge their complaints."

"We want to serve the people to the best of our ability and we are determined to do that to the best of our impartiality and integrity."