Technology has transformed the world over.
Soon it could transform the way Samoans fight for justice with the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A) considering the introduction of a Smart Court.
The concept will allow the Ministry to use internet technology to process legal documents and fast track legal processes to address the backlog of outstanding cases.
The plan was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of M.J.C.A, Papali’i John Taimalelagi.
The C.E.O had accompanied the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu to a Cyber Space Forum in China where the idea of Smart Court was discussed.
The Smart Court is the transformation of the manual court system into an electronic system where there will be no more paper work.
Everything will be done using modern technology.
Papali’i said after seeing and experiencing how China’s Smart Court operates, he believes it is an idea that would help Samoa, especially to avoid people in the village having to travel all the way to Mulinu’u for Court hearings.
“With the system we have now, we are still using papers,” he said. “Although we have recordings it’s still very limited compared to China’s Smart Court where there is no more paper work.
“When this kind of system is available here, lawyers can submit their stuff online.
The matais can gather at the mayor’s house wherever they are while the registrar will still be sitting at the office and conducting the meeting.”
With all new technology, Papali’i said it wouldn’t come without challenges.
But overall, he believes a Smart Court would benefit Samoa tremendously if the system is well run.
“Almost every big country in the World is now using this system, and it is a success,” he said.
“We can also adjust to this system, but it all depends on the resources.”
Papali’i said Samoa needs to do some more research and learn from countries that are already using the system.
But the C.E.O said he can see how the country will benefit.
For instance, the government will save a lot of money that’s being spent on allowances for people who are flown over to give evidence.
The Forum in China was well attended by many representatives from other Pacific Island Countries.