ECSC unveils round two of E-Litigation Portal
June 25, 2024

ECSC unveils round two of E-Litigation Portal

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), has deployed its second text-to-speech detection system where proceedings in court will be transcribed to text with 80% accuracy.

The launch for the implementation of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court’s E-litigation portal, Criminal Module for the High Court Criminal Division and the Magistracy was held at the conference room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade conference room on Friday June 14, 2024.

Acting Chief Justice, Mario Michel said this launch marks a significant milestone in the Supreme Court’s ongoing efforts to modernise its judiciary and enhance access to Justice at all levels and within all spheres of the judicial system.

“The reason for creating and implementing an E-litigation portal for the ECSC in the first place was to provide an efficient, cost effective, transparent and reliable platform for submitting and processing Court documents electronically.”

One of the biggest advancements is the text-to-speech detection system, using Microstation Azure AI.

This system will address the backlog of…recordings from the court in St Vincent and the Grenadines, yielding text transcripts with up to 80 per cent accuracy.”

The acting Chief Justice explained that these technological advancements will strengthen the Supreme Court’s ongoing efforts to ensure timely and accurate production of transcripts and recordings of proceedings.

Besides the tedious process of having to manually transcribe court proceedings, Justice Michel said there are many other issues that these new technologies will resolve.

He said that traditionally, serving court documents was both time consuming and resource intensive. He noted too, that every document which had to be filed in court proceedings had to be printed, and at least three copies of it had to be physically filed at the court office.

“The other parties in the proceedings then had to be served in person with the documents, unless the party to be served had retained a lawyer who filed an acknowledgment of service,” he said, adding that the acknowledgments of service had to be served on the other parties as well.

The acting Chief Justice explained that this process generated a tremendous amount of paper, cost and frustration to litigants on all sides of the matter.

“Indeed, the sheer volume of paper generated made it difficult for court staff to manage and organize files efficiently. Storage space for court documents became an ever increasing issue, and the manual handling of documents left room for errors and delays in the court office.”

Justice Michel said as well that the E-litigation portal will counter these issues and create more efficiency in administering Justice and that the portal will ensure the security and preservation of court documents.

“The convenience of electronic filing also enables litigants and their lawyers to file documents from anywhere and at any time without the need to physically travel to the court office.”

Justice Michel said the portal has enhanced transparency in the Judicial process because the parties will have real-time access to all documents that are filed in their case.

“All documents for cases in the Civil Division of the High Court, as well as the Court of Appeal, are filed online. The implementation of the portal has considerably reduced the need for physical copies of documents…”.

Justice Michel extended gratitude to those who have contributed to the ECSC as it embarks on this new technological Era.

“That’s a giant leap you know, that I don’t have to write any more,” Justice Rickie Burnett remarked when he returned to the High Court after attending the launch.

Justice Burnett said that many changes have been made in the court, and he really appreciates them.

Present at the launch were Senior Crown Counsel Richie Maitland; Justices Rickie Burnett and Brian Cottle; Senior Magistrates Colin John and Tammika McKenzie; Court Administrator of the ECSC, Gregory Gerard; as well as the executive and members of the Bar Association of St Vincent and the Grenadines.