Vigilance Magistrate’s Court technologically enhanced
A journey to transform the judiciary resulted in the introduction of audio-visual recording equipment at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court on the East Coast of Demerara Thursday.
The equipment included a camera, a Smart Television, monitors, a microphone, a surround sound system, internet connection and a Skype system. They were all donated and installed by UNICEF.
The technological enhancement is expected to result in justice being dispensed in a more efficient manner, especially for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.
The partnership between the Judiciary and UNICEF is intended to contribute to the wider plan of ensuring easier and faster access to justice by saving time and costs, improving efficiencies and security.
Cognizant of the fact that this is the 21st century, Chancellor (ag) of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards said that technology is changing the way law is practised and how justice should be dispensed.
She was speaking at the handing over ceremony of the equipment Thursday at the Vigilance Court.
“We have so many young members of the Judiciary…who are very technologically efficient and it’s only fitting that we too get with the programme and be technologically proficient and be advanced as well,” the Chancellor said to a room full of Magistrates and court staff.
While acknowledging that Guyana’s judicial system is not as advanced as other countries with virtual courtrooms, the Chancellor noted that judges and magistrates would at least like the option of dispensing justice efficiently.
“And so this Skype system will help us to take evidence even where witnesses are abroad, where they might be in the hospital, even the Police might be in another location, they might be in the interior…
“Guyana is so huge, witnesses, investigators may be in different parts of the country and sometimes the time and distance it takes to get to that court may result in the matter being dismissed or for some other reason, the matter being adjourned. Initiatives like these will help us dispense justice in a much faster and efficient manner.”
The Chancellor noted that rural courts will soon be modernised with technology and it is initiatives such as these that will help to restore confidence in the judiciary.