x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Swift justice dispensed thanks to new Abu Dhabi data management system

Processing of court cases has sped up dramatically thanks to a new smart system to manage case data.

ABU DHABI // Swift justice is being dispensed thanks to a new data management system.

The electronic Case Management System (CMS) introduced by the judicial department has cut down dramatically the time spent on cases by making information available to all parties involved in a case at the click of a button.

Previously, court clerics would need to dig up paper files every time the judge wanted to explore a case.

"Now he has access to it online, he can even work from home," said Yousif Al Hosani, director of the Case Management department.

"Also, court clerics used to spend a lot of time calculating statistics, but now it is all done automatically,"

The system has proved particularly successful in cases requiring coordination among various government departments.

Mr Al Hosani explained that under the old system, if a private individual filed a lawsuit the courts might not discover until the date of the trial that a translator was required. The hearing would then have to be rescheduled.

Now, however, the system automatically requests a translator if the nationality of the applicant or defendant is non-Arab.

"This way translators are booked ahead and they know their schedule in advance."

Touchscreens allow users to search the database by variables such as court, verdict issued or even nationality.

Since the introduction of the system more than 97 per cent of cases have been processed within less than 12 months.

The system updates automatically every second.

A demonstration of the system at 12.30pm yesterday showed that earlier that day Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra courts had issued verdicts in 148 cases - 82 in the executive court, two in the cassation court, four in appeals and 60 in first instance.

Another screen displayed the reasons behind case adjournments - 3,374 cases were postponed in 2012 awaiting responses from the sued parties.

Members of the public and lawyers can access the CMS through smart phone apps, but this access is limited.

"A lawyer can access any case he is registered for, including the hearings' roll, names... a lawyer can even reduce the number of assistants he sends to court to follow his cases.

"We are the first courts department worldwide to use such a smart system," he added.

hdajani@thenational.ae