Rwanda: Lawyers Urged to Use e-Filing
High Court president, Johnstone Busingye, trains lawyers in using EFS
Members of the Kigali Bar Association (KBA) were, last week, trained in filing cases online using Electronic Filing System (EFS).
KBA is a legal fraternity of lawyers and judges dedicated to improving the administration of justice. The president of the High Court, Johnstone Busingye, who trained the lawyers, said that EFS responds to the needs of the legal community as well as the general public.
"The implementation of the newly introduced system is an effective case flow management method designed to ensure the function of the court is accomplished and enhance service delivery," he said.
Busingye urged the lawyers to embrace the new system as it provides fair treatment of all litigants by the court, ensures that the time established for disposition is consistent with the nature of the case as well as enhancing the quality of the litigation process. "It instils public confidence in the court," he added.
The High Court president pointed out that the EFS will be at the heart of all judicial systems and would manage a case from initial filing to final disposition. The EFS enables litigants to file cases online, as well as follow up their cases as they are allocated hearing dates and times and lined up on the court calendar.
Speaking to The Sunday Times after sensitising the lawyers, Busingye said that filing cases online started last month in the Supreme Court, High courts, Commercial courts and the intermediate courts.
"We are moving on smoothly to ensure that all 22 courts are covered and the initial phase will digitize files from 2004," he said.
Busingye observed that, with the new system it's no longer necessary for litigants to come to the Supreme Court, and other courts using the system to file cases, they are now able to file their cases from anywhere as long as there is internet connection and this saves their time and transport.
"The only reason we think the litigants should come to courts is to hear their cases and perhaps other matters which cannot be delivered electronically, if there are any," the High Court president emphasised.
According to Athanase Rutabingwa, president of the Bar Association, the new system will streamline the judicial processes of work.
"This is a very important initiative that optimises processes to reduce associated time and costs and I call upon my colleagues to implement it as we professionalise our work," he noted.