What is an Electronic Filing System?
The Electronic Filing System is frequently confused with that of a Case Management or Document Management system. One can hold that there is great similarity between the two but there are some distinguishing factors. From research conducted on this topic country therefore far, it can be stated that they both assistance in transitioning the tribunal ‘s environment from that of a paper based environment to that of an electronic papers environment.
There are many positions as to the map of a instance direction system within the judicial system. One general thought as to the map of a instance direction system is that,
‘ … it electronically routes paperss and images to the proper work countries… .Content is accessible for coincident screening and processing on networked Personal computer workstations throughout the clerk ‘s office and territory tribunals. Judges can entree their calendars, position all instance files, dispose of instances and instantly entree instance histories… . ‘ [ 1 ]
An electronic filing system can be considered to be an extension of the Case Management System, since it does embrace all the maps. What distinguishes the EFS from a CMS is its ability to ease the electronic entry of legal paperss via a procedure referred to as E-Filing. This procedure involves the electronic transmittal of legal paperss and instance information to the tribunals via a dependable and unafraid medium, normally the cyberspace.
‘A to the full developed electronic filing system includes non lone transmittal of pleadings to the Clerk ‘s Office in an electronic format, but besides the everyday usage of electronic paperss and the electronic record for instance processing, for service on other parties, and for entree and usage by everyone involved in, or interested in the instance. ‘ [ 2 ]
What are the benefits of an Electronic Filing System?
The benefits of implementing Electronic Filing Systems within the judicial system have long been realized. The paper-based tribunal civilization has been plagued with issues such as the inability to see paperss or instance files at the same time, malposition of files and the deficiency of physical storage infinite for these files. Not to advert the high costs associated with the printing, copying and transit of these files to all parties involved. As a consequence, most tribunals and jurisprudence houses today have embarked on strategic undertakings to present electronic record direction patterns frequently achieved through the usage of CMS ‘s, DMS ‘s and of class electronic filing. The Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago self-praises of “ Justice On Time ” , and these issues associated with a paper-based tribunal civilization can badly halter this enterprise.
An overall mentality on the significance of the EFS, would uncover that it allows for faster filing and retrieval of instance information, big cost nest eggs, reduced cases of misplaced files, remote handiness to instance information every bit good as coincident entree to instance information. There exist a batch more benefits from the execution of an Electronic Filing System than the mere few mentioned. The undermentioned paragraphs illustrate extra benefits as it applies to jurisprudence houses, Judgess, members of the public and tribunal clerks ( bench ) .
Lawyers and Law houses are presented with the installation to register and service paperss without of all time go forthing their offices. This saves important clip and costs associated with the readying of a physical papers before being manually delivered to the tribunal registries. Since the e-filed papers is already in an electronic format, it is available for treating about instantly in contrast to traditional methods of bringing which were frequently delayed. Additionally, this installation allows jurisprudence houses and lawyers to be able to register, recover and serve instance files 24 hours a twenty-four hours, 7 yearss a hebdomad. Flexibility and convenience are the benefits gained as a consequence. [ 3 ]
“ Justice delayed is Justice denied ” , this is considered a legal clich & A ; eacute ; and is frequently voiced by Judges. It emphasizes the importance of the timely declaration of instances. Court hearings being postponed due to inaccessibility of instance files or required paperss is highly frequent. With the usage of an EFS, Judgess can manage instances in a timely mode since electronic instance files are instantly and readily available via the CMS and there is no demand to wait for a clerk to register or even retrieve the same. They besides benefit as it practically eliminates the cases of tribunal hearings being adjourned due to paperss or files being misfiled or misplaced. Convenience and comfort is besides derived as a consequence of the usage of an EFS. Sing that files are submitted and available in an electronic format, there is less jumble of tonss of paperss within the justice ‘s Chamberss.
Court clerks net income enormously from the execution of an EFS. The clip spent executing undertakings such as reviewing, filing, recovering, copying and re-shelving of files is drastically reduced. The clerk no longer has to pull off big volumes of paper neither would they need to peruse big volumes of files in an attempt to turn up a papers or full instance file. This will be facilitated by the CMS or DMS. Sing that the clerks will no longer necessitate to physically extract paperss from within the instance files, the unity and the physical status of these instance file and its paperss are preserved. Normally clerks perform informations entry of instance information from files and paperss submitted manually. However the EFS eliminates this procedure since it uses a engineering called XML tagging, which transfers the information straight into the CMS. The subject of XML tagging will be further discussed subsequently in this study. [ 4 ]
The paper-based system of operations created a job where instance files may be in usage by a justice or another section. It is rather an incommodiousness for a member of public to come to the register to bespeak a papers merely to be informed that the file is non available. This is one chief issue resolved through electronic filing systems. With the electronic filing system, members of public obtain these paperss remotely 24 hours a twenty-four hours, 7days a hebdomad via an entree portal. In add-on to which several individuals can see instance files or paperss at the same clip and there is no demand to worry about the file non being available as a consequence of misfiling or straight-out sabotage. [ 4 ]
What are some issues associated with E-Filing in tribunals?
Of class with the debut of a new procedure or information system there are teething issues or branchings. Therefore implementing an EFS within the judicial systems globally has unearthed several new jobs. Michael Arkfield commented that “ the tribunal will be faced with important challenges to acquire electronic filing ready ” [ 5 ] . The issue of privateness and security of information seems to be one of the chief issues faced with the usage of this e-filing engineering in tribunals. The inquiry of who has what entree to the tribunal information causes some complexness. “ Distant entree to the tribunal record is the cardinal policy issue for many technological systems introduced into the justness system. “ [ 6 ] This has lead to concerns about individuality larceny and unauthorised entree to sensitive information. Jason Krause, who is a legal personal businesss author, does reference privateness and handiness to tribunal information as a chief issue but in his sentiment, “ the most hard issue confronting e-filing in tribunals is how to cover with Pro Se litigators? “ [ 8 ] These are individuals who choose to stand for themselves ; more specifically they have no lawyers. E-filing systems are normally tailored towards users such as jurisprudence houses and lawyers. The ego represented litigant registering little instances like “ traffic misdemeanors, claims, household jurisprudence affairs, and landlord renter instances ” need to be acknowledged as “ filers with particular demands in an electronic filing system. “ [ 7 ] Some suggestions have since been made to manage this job. For case, it has been suggested that e-filing applications be really user friendly and that the service be provided free of charge to Pro Se Litigants. Section 4.1.1 mentioned that it is good to the judicial system since the e-filing service would be accessible 24 hours a twenty-four hours, 7 yearss a hebdomad. However, harmonizing to another writer James McMillan, this installation does make some issues. He states, “ there are legion policy, operational, and fiscal issues associated with keeping a 24 ten 7 operation ” . [ 10 ] He even outlined some illustrations such as the demand for staff support to be able to react to concern and proficient inquiries outside the normal concern hours. Other operational issues impacting E-Filing would affect the fact that the systems in usage today are still non capable of registering legal paperss with seals. Krause reports that for this ground lawyers need to be frequently do some kind of particular agreement with the tribunal registries. There exist other issues which can be linked to organisational inactiveness. For case lawyers, Judgess and litigators likewise have all been accustomed to covering with original paperss. Therefore, this passage to the usage of printed or electronic transcripts of legal paperss has been known to do some uncomfortableness. [ 8 ]
What are some of the major constituents of an Electronic Filing
System and how are they applied?
Electronic Filing Systems are by and large adapted to outdo meet the demands of the tribunal in which it will finally be implemented. Although the engineering, regulations and demands may change from tribunal to tribunal, some similarities do be with respects to the major constituents. For any EFS to be functional, the undermentioned constituents must be: an Electronic Filing Front End Application, an Electronic Filing Manager, a Document Management System and a Case Management System. These constituents all allow for tribunal paperss to be exchanged electronically but the existent agreement of each is determined by the altered theoretical account. There exists several theoretical accounts but merely the more common attacks will be discussed within this study.
The first theoretical account is more in-house and has been referred to as Court-Based E-Filing Package harmonizing to Carlson 2004. In this theoretical account, “ the E-Filing system is operated internally by the tribunal, ” [ 10 ] More specifically all constituents are located within the tribunal ‘s installation and are run by the province. When a filer is trying to register a papers, they interface straight with the tribunal ‘s e-filing front terminal and the papers is submitted to the tribunal ‘s CMS and DMS. The payment for the e-filing dealing is received by the tribunal hosting this service. This ‘front terminal ‘ normally accessed remotely via a web site or internally via a web interface at an in-house terminus. This front terminal is normally integrated with the tribunal ‘s CMS and DMS and this frequently eliminates or reduces the sum of informations entry performed. The chief benefit of following this theoretical account is the considerable sum of gross gained from filers and anyone accessing the system for electronic tribunal paperss. However, there are some downsides to this attack. For case, the tribunal becomes responsible for back uping and developing all users of this system. In this theoretical account each tribunal develops or customizes the package their system uses. Carlson 2004 remarks that this attack complicates things for lawyers since, “ lawyers must larn multiple systems and coordinate preparation, internal proficient support and fee payment patterns with each tribunal. “ [ 4 ] Whilst the tribunals do derive gross from runing the E-Filing system internally, they do incur significant costs such as on-going care costs. Bursch 2007 highlights a state of affairs where tribunals were decommissioned because the grosss gained were less than the care costs beginnings.
“ A province or local legal power may take to utilize a individual e-filing service supplier ( EFSP ) or they may take to offer more than one pick of supplier. “ [ 11 ] This has been referred to as the Third Party E-File Vendor attack. [ 4 ] When trying to register a papers in this theoretical account, the filer interfaces straight with EFSP ‘s web site or ‘front terminal ‘ application. The filer pays a dealing charge to the EFSP for each papers submitted for filing or service. The major constituents such as the filer ‘s interface, the CMS and the DMS are hosted and operated by the 3rd party seller. “ With this attack, the duty, in peculiar the financial duty, for developing and keeping the system and for back uping all clients is shifted to the EFSP. “ [ 4 ] In this respect the tribunal ‘s operations are less wedged by implementing new applications, equipment and processs. They nevertheless risk losing control over the tribunal ‘s paperss and besides release the chance to derive gross through this service. Harmonizing to Bursch 2007, “ many provinces have adopted e-filing plans where registering parties can take from a assortment of sellers, therefore extinguishing any one seller ‘s control over the tribunal record. “ [ 10 ]
What are some of the criterions as it pertains to document sizes, formats, communicating protocol, security, papers genuineness and fidelity, etc?