Digital justice

St Matthias Magistrates’ Court receives voice recording software

The St Matthias Magistrates’ Court is going digital with the receipt Wednesday of Liberty Court Recording Software from the United States (US) embassy.

The new digital audio/video recording programme, which comes at a time when the authorities have been complaining about a backlog of cases, is expected to improve the recording of court hearings, expedite hearings, and ease the workload on stenographers.

The system will also facilitate prison video links and other bail and testimonial hearings from remote locations. It includes a range of features and is able to record and playback multiple channels of audio and video.

An excited Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, an advocate for greater use of technology in the judiciary, said the new system should make the court system more efficient by eliminating uncertainties such as delays experienced when transporting inmates to the court for hearings.

Sir Marston Gibson

“A few weeks ago we had some problems where the buses had some problems and they were arriving at the courts late and that was pushing back the courts’ list. So this equipment certainly goes a long way towards alleviating that problem,” Sir Marston said.

The Chief Justice said he looked forward to the day when such facilities would be available in all magistrates courts across the island, something Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite promised would become a reality by the end of May.

Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the US Embassy Drew Blakeney said the digital recorder was intended to modernize the judicial system and make it more efficient.

“It is a small investment but that we hope will benefit everyone here in Barbados, and certainly the judicial workers,” Blakeney said.

He said Government could save on transportation cost by eventually linking police stations, the prison and courthouses.

“You don’t have to go through the trouble of secure movements, spending money on gasoline. This can even potentially enable things like witness testimony from other countries, in which case the cost savings can be big,” he said.

Chief Magistrate at the St Matthias Court Christopher Birch and Registrar of the Supreme Court Barbara Cooke-Alleyne both welcomed the new software, saying they were especially excited that it would ease the pressure on stenographers.

“I want to assure everyone it will be used properly for the peace and good governance of the court,” Birch said.

10 Responses to Digital justice

  1. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen April 12, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Some of you big head people got to much head ,that why you all don’t think .just now people will be taking the law in they hands courts taking to long and by the time the case call ya forget or ya files lost,conveniently.

  2. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen April 12, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Pride does have these big heads people not thinking,prison should have its own court.small claims ties up courts and take up time ,cases that are small matters can be handled by a justice of peace,judges are needed on the bench,night court is a must.

    • Jennifer April 13, 2017 at 1:26 am

      @Itz Queen= well said – you took the words right out of my mouth. The more education them get the more the head get bigger to the capacity where it cannot even think on devising simple strategies to aid in productivity such as compartmentalizing. I feel they left out something specifically from their education. Mind you all of this tech sound like this will be up and running in another 10yrs or so.

      • Jennifer April 13, 2017 at 1:32 am

        Mind you none of this tech appears to be tackling and preventing the backing up of cases or even the losing of files. I guess if ever installed this tech will help to weed out some of the corruption. I think

  3. John Everatt April 12, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    I look forward to the implementation of this software however I need to stress that just as Mr Blakeney said this software is rather inexpensive and has been an option for our court system for many years. It certainly would help in reducing the court processing times but I fear it will never be put into production. Change is something that is often difficult. But court reporting is really standard in this day and age and has been for many many years. It is what is used the world over.

  4. Alex Alleyne April 13, 2017 at 8:08 am

    DODDS listed as a “state of the arts” building, why not put a court in there , this will save the TAX PAYERS millions of $$$. No fancy air conditioned coach which is labled a a gas/diesel guzzler, plus the repair bills. Transport board bus always need repairs and very few on the road , have you ever see a prison bus stranded no the road due to the lack of machanical repairs ????.

  5. Mark April 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Anyone who thinks this software will speed up anything in the courts is an A class joker. I have been to court 5 different times to try to get a non paying tenant out of my house. Even when that tenant did not turn up although served, the court refused to deal with the matter. When the tenant did grace us with his present the judge asked if I could give him time because things out there hard. Imagine that crap! It is time the attorney general and chief justice look at how people are being denied justice when they supposedly use the legitimate channels. Did I add that on none of those appearances did the court start before 10 a.m? The whole lot of them need replacing with people who are wiling to work.

  6. Ossie Moore April 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    “No mo trolly cart o’ paper”!

  7. Bunn April 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I bet this new system will end up like Driver Licensing Photo System in the Government hands … can’t find a place to take a picture for your driver license!

  8. Tony Webster April 13, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Wow! Along with offered congratulations to whosoever actually moved this particular mountain ( the laureate being discreetly being yet unheralded) , it reminds me of a meeting in the office of the then Secretary to the Central Bank of Barbados, c.mid-1980’s, I sought counsel-and support-from the then holder of that tenure, the now-late Mr. Adrian Clarke. I was told, yes, all records-vaults, (including theirs) were bursting at the seams, but before shredding obsolete paper records, one had to observe the strictures of both the Banking Act, and more importantly, the Evidence Act, both of which were writ indelibly , it seemed, either carved in stone or writ on very strong parchment, and would need complete replacement by Acts reflecting how records are maintained in modern times. His hands were apparently tied, just as firmly, as mine, and he had already tilted, unsuccessfully, at such windmills, which were protected by the political-legal cartels well known to us both.
    HOORAY for the Don Quixote who has now triumphed, and all banks and commercial operations will presumably now take full advantage to digitally store records.
    Hooray for someone…who should take a bow, and disregard any objections from those of silken collars, or wigs, or other ancient and archaic tradition. Drinks on me.


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