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AoJ adopts less contact, paperless justice

MPHO MOKWAPE
Gaborone High Court
While the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced many organisations to rethink how they use advanced technology that limits human contact, the Administration of Justice (AoJ) has not been left out.

They allow paperless proceedings.

The Justice system as it has been the norm for decades has been relying more on human contact be it a court appearance, filing and other means of accessing justice. But due to the recent outbreak of the virus, the administration is looking into the use of technology as a permanent solution to deliver justice. 

According to the Registrar and Master of the High Court, Michael Motlhabi the use of technological means will be enhanced and taken on board going forward as a way of limiting human contact and observing the social distance not only as a response to the virus but as a means to improve service delivery. 

When updating the media this week as the AOJ moves to the phase 3 of the lockdown, Motlhabi explained that technology came into play during the lockdown like the use of emails and e-filing in response to the lockdown. 

“Due to the restrictions that were introduced on movements, the administration resorted to other means of continuing with work and the judges were given the power to use IT as a response,” he said.  

He stated that as per their indication in the NDP 10 that they want to be a more technologically-based and paperless system, they have started to move in that direction

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which they were now using as default due to the pandemic. “We were thrown into the use of technology as a default due to the pandemic, but now that’s the direction we are taking going forward. There is a new technology that most of the judges are undergoing training for it at the moment that will be used to make the access of justice easy without having to converge in court most of the time,” Motlhabi lamented. 

The Registrar pointed out that if there is an agreement between litigating parties and the judge, technology will be used either to deliver judgements or even for hearings without any human contact. 

He however emphasised that technology will not be imposed on those who do not agree with it and that it will only be done with those in agreement. 

Motlhabi also said they were still in preparation to introduce a system that will work for them so that when there is a need for payments, there will be an account that will reflect everything.  “The system for payments will allow us to know where the money comes from and to which is intended for. There will be an account for all that,” he said.                     



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