Electronic Management System - First Step Towards Simplified Access to Justice
28 Dec 2017 by Nazik Avlyakulova
During the course of 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Supreme Court of Turkmenistan implemented a joint project “Cooperation in implementation of the NHRAP for 2016-2020 in the area of rule of law and the access to justice”. The project is funded by the Catalytic Fund, with the financial support of the Government of Turkey and through the Funding Windows of UNDP that supports governance for peaceful and inclusive societies programmes.
As part of the project, UNDP and the Supreme Court of Turkmenistan have designed and piloted the e-court system in the selected Kopetdag district court of Ashgabat to provide accessible, affordable, efficient and quality services to citizens. The new system will help Turkmenistan to implement part of its National human rights action plan and fulfil its obligations under the human rights obligations.
Project consultant Mr. Armen Gevorkian explains the advantages of the piloted system and how it will improve the work of the courts of Turkmenistan.
UNDP: What are the advantages of the e-court system?
Mr. Gevorkian: There are several short and long-term advantages that will provide benefits with both court workers as well as its clients.
- Transparency and visibility: both count case-workers and in the future the clients will be able to monitor the progress and see current status of the cases;
- Control over each step of the process: system will monitor that each step of the process is done on allocated time and will remind / escalate if the task is overdue. As a result, services will be provided on time;
- Verification of provided information and documents - result is reduction of errors and requests of additional information;
- Management and operational reporting - this will allow to constantly monitor, improve and make the process more efficient;
- Automatic routing of cases to case-workers who have the right skills and availability;
- Automatic decision making: result - reduction of time and resources required to process the same number of cases. This will help the court to process more cases with the same number of resources;
- In the future, option to give on-line access externally so that the clients will be able to submit cases, attach documents and monitor progress of the case. Integration with mobile network and internet will improve communication and notifications;
- Centralization / integration with other courts to generate centralized reporting to the Central Court.
UNDP: How does the process of introduction of e-court go? Is it a complicated process? Does it require any special knowledge and skills?
Mr. Gevorkian: Normally no special skills are required. Classroom or on-line training will be provided to court case-workers to familiarize themselves with the new process and the system. However, such solutions are very user friendly and they guide case-workers through each step of the process. The system itself does not need any special maintenance and will be tested prior to full launch to make sure that all the procedures are clear and understandable to the staff.
UNDP: How will the new system help make the courts of Turkmenistan better?
Mr. Gevorkian: Any organization can improve their services by controlling the internal processes and providing transparency to its clients. The Business Process Automation (BPM) system for the Court will provide exactly this - the Court will have full control and visibility over each individual case in the process at any given time and the clients will have in the future complete visibility of the status and deadlines. Also, ones implemented, the system will provide reliable and up-to-date statistical information of all court cases to the Government.
As part of the project, in cooperation with the Supreme Court and the National institute of democracy and human rights under the President of Turkmenistan, UNDP has trained 125 judges and 54 lawyers in international human rights protection mechanisms.
Overall project impact shall bring higher awareness of the human rights protection mechanisms and ensure free and adequate access to justice among the population of the country.