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ECOWAS Court begins full digital operations in 2021

A new electronic case management system that will digitise the entire case management system of the ECOWAS Court of Justice and enable the electronic filing of cases will become operational in January 2021, the President of the Court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante has said.Declaring open the second phase of the training on the system for staff on Monday in Abuja, Justice Asante said the introduction of the system would not only align the Court’s case management system with international best practice, but would also enable the remote filing of documents by parties thereby eliminating the necessity of travelling to the seat of the Court in Abuja with the attendant cost benefits.

He told the participants, who are mainly the end users of the system, that the system would ensure that “the interaction between the stakeholders in the proceedings before the Court would henceforth be based on the use of this new electronic management system towards a prosperous, modern and efficient future that would enable the Court meet the challenges of the future.”

The statement by the ECOWAS Commission on Tuesday in Abuja stated that Court President noted that it will not only eliminate the problems associated with the use of paper during proceedings, but will also increase the performance of the Court as well as enable the saving of data relating to cases and eliminate the problem associated with the use of files, including mutilation and loss.

Moreover, he said it was more cost effective for all parties as it would not only bring the Court closer to the litigants, but also improve its visibility and accessibility as applications and other filings would be made electronically, thus reducing the problem of the geographical remoteness of the Court from litigants in other Member States of the Community.

He charged the participants to familiarise themselves with this new tool, urging them to pay close attention to detail to ensure that the system corresponds to the realities of the Court.

After the opening speech of the President, the Deputy Chief Registrar, Mr. Athanase Atannon, used the opportunity of presenting the objectives of the training to congratulate the management for bringing this project to fruition.

He then presented the objectives of the training to include acquainting the users with the system for a proper understanding of the platform and enable the trainers and trainees to discuss its operations in order to align it with the realities of the job.

He then spoke on the expectations of the training, which he articulated in three points as to provide Judges and participants with the necessary skills to take ownership and fully utilise the electronic case management system.

Secondly, he noted that it would ensure that participants are fully conversant with all aspects of the operation of the platform so that they can apply the skills in the discharge of their tasks during the different phases of the proceedings of the Court.

Finally, he said it would provide an opportunity to gather end-users’ concerns in order to make final improvements to the system.

This training, which will run until December 5, 2020 for different staff, will provide the judges and staff with all the necessary skills to operate the platform.

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