Days after the Supreme Court gave legal teeth in cases involving Attorney-General of Lagos State versus Attorney-General of the Federation and others and the Attorney- General of Ekiti State versus Attorney- General of the Federation to virtual proceedings, the Ondo State judiciary has launched an automated e-registry to fast track justice delivery system.
Already, the judiciary has commenced the programme with the publication of Practice Direction on e-filing on the judiciary’s website on 27th July, 2020 while e-filing and remote hearing was launched on 29th July, 2020 with dignitaries led by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, judges and other stakeholders in the justice sector in attendance.
This was also followed by a live demonstration on remote hearing at 9:00am on 30th July, 2020.
Besides, arrangements were being put in place for the Bar and the Bench to be guided through the process in order to ensure a seamless e-process.
The state judiciary took the giant stride with the aid of technology to ensure justice delivery was not stalled especially when physical court sittings may not be feasible in the foreseeable future following COVID-19 pandemic which had brought about lockdown and social distancing rules restricting the day-to-day activities of the courts by creating a new normal for the judiciary.
However, the Ondo State was proud to be the first state in the country to make its e-registry fully automated.
This was achieved working hand-inhand with LawPavilion Business Solutions to create a seamless e-registry which would be used by litigants, counsel and court officials. In times past, physical filing would take hours but with e-registry, filing with the e-registry would now be done in a twinkle of an eye as the e-registry was web-based which would be accessed anywhere. Essentially, litigants and their counsel would now file their processes in the comfort of their homes, anywhere and at any time.
Through Robotic Process Automation in the e-registry, the filing of court processes had been fully automated with all the necessary features to allow for an end-to-end e-filing. E-registry had provided solutions to most of the challenges plaguing e-filing and remote hearing in Nigeria before now.
For instance, the e-registry had been automated with the necessary filing fees to allow for a quick and effective filing process. Lawyers and the litigant would have their processes assessed, pay the assessed filing fee and proceed to actually file their processes all on the same platform and within the twinkle of an eye.
These filed processes would also automatically synced into the court’s record as the future of justice delivery- the new normal, which had come to stay.