LAGOS JUDICIARY CONNECTS COURTS TO INTERNET
FOR greater efficiency and productivity, the Lagos State Judiciary has connected its courts to the internet through Court Automated Information System (CAIS). Through this development, lawyers, litigants and the entire public can now reach the state High Courts via www.lagosjudiciary.gov.ng.
The initiative is one of the programmes of the state judiciary under the leadership of Justice Augustine Adetola Alabi.
Speaking with journalists late last year, Justice Ade-Alabi listed other programmes of his administration as prison decongestion, improving the lot of retired judges and improving the administration of justice system in the state especially in the Magistrate's Court through the constitution of Magistrate's Court Revival Project (MCRP).
He said: "The British Council and the Lagos State government have almost completed the computerisation of the Lagos State High Courts.
"As such, all divisions can be contacted without having to go there physically or through telephone, that is, when the project is completed, you can have contact with every department of the judiciary from wherever you are sitting including Ikorodu and Badagry judicial divisions".
Determined to actualise this vision, Justice Ade-Alabi set up a body, Judicial Process Automation Committee, headed by Justice A.E. Ayo.
From a statement recently by the committee, The Guardian learnt that the state judiciary had since a few days ago, been fully connected to the world via internet services under CAIS.
On its formation, the statement read: "The Court Automated Information Management System (in a broad sense) includes three sub-systems that accommodate three different groups of target audience:
- court automated information system (CAIS), a secure, password-protected, closed information network for authorised court personnel (intranet);
- electronic access gateway for lawyers (EAGL), a secure, password protected information network that provides limited access to certain sections of the case-related information for registered legal practitioners and other external users (extranet);
- public information portal, Lagos State Judiciary website that provides open, non-restricted access to certain information made public by the judiciary".
According to the statement, the features of the CAIS intranet include contract directory, case in an agreement system, court fee calculation system, performance reporting system and the secure document management system.
Others are legal research gateway, internal messaging system for all intranet users, internet mail (for judges and senior officials) and system administration module.
The Badagry judicial division shares the Lagos domain while the Ikorodu judicial division shares Ikeja domain.
EAGL extranet include components like case search, schedule of hearings (cause list), case archive, message and alerts, court forms and templates, court fee calculator, request for service, electronic claims/process submission tool, legal research module and personal file manager. The site is accessible from the judiciary website.
And for the Lagos State Judiciary public website www.lagosjudiciary.gov.ng, it was said to be empowered by a content management system and provides information about the court, directory of judges and legal practitioners and legal news and announcements.
Others are High Court of Lagos State (civil procedure) rules and other legislation, court calendar and hearings schedule "cause list, annual reports, guides for litigants and tools for collecting public feedback.