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Introduction of e-justice beset with problems

famagusta district court 1024x576
Famagusta district court

The new e-justice platform, the “biggest and strongest column” of the justice edifice is beset with problems, President of the Cyprus Bar Association Michalis Vorkas said on Monday.

“Things cannot stay as they are and ameliorative actions are being taken to fix the system,” Vorkas told AlphaNews.

“We [the Cyprus bar association] helped identify exact issues and today we are awaiting the results of the weekend’s efforts,” Vorkas said, adding that the e-justice system was aimed at speeding up Cyprus’ notoriously slow judicial processes.

“Justice can’t [afford to] shut down, not even for a second [and] access to justice is a fundamental [human] right. Justice must be responsive [and] if the means at our disposal do not lead in this direction, it is a major problem,” Vorkas said.

The new system enabling online registration of cases, had been touted by the government as marking a “transition to a new digital era” for justice, but came crashing down within a day of its launch last Monday.

The platform is intended to greatly enhance the efficiency of the judicial system in multiple ways and bring savings in time and costs for all users, as well as greater access security through digitizing documentation.

Following the system’s crash, lawyers blasted the introduction of the system as “sloppy” and raised concerns that reverting to physical registration of cases would be imperative should the situation not be promptly resolved.

This led to the Supreme Court taking a decision to allow physical registrations again despite the passage of new law to govern e-justice registrations, the Electronic Justice Procedural Regulation of 2024.

Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides said his office would be filing a report to the ministry this week “with our observations and findings in principle”.

Meanwhile the deputy ministry of innovation is carrying out intensive efforts to fix the problems with the system “as soon as possible”.

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