The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about lockdown and social distancing rules which have restricted the day-to-day activities of the Courts and created a new normal for the Judiciary. The Ondo State Judiciary is taking a giant stride, with the aid of technology, to ensure justice delivery is not stalled especially when physical court sittings may not be feasible in the foreseeable future.
The recent decisions of the Supreme Court in the two cases of Attorney-General of Lagos State VS. Attorney-General of the Federation and ors, and Attorney-General of Ekiti State VS. Attorney-General of the Federation have given judicial teeth to virtual proceedings by holding that such proceedings are legal.
The Ondo State Judiciary is proud to be the first State in Nigeria to make her E-Registry fully automated. This was achieved working hand-in-hand with LawPavilion Business Solutions to create a seamless E-registry which can be used by both litigants, their counsel and court officials.
In times past, physical filing could take several hours, but with E-registry, filing with the E-registry can now be done in the twinkle of an eye; and what is more, the E-registry is web based and can be accessed anywhere. To this end, litigants and their counsel can now file their processes in the comfort of their homes, anywhere and at any time.
Through Robotic Process Automation in the E-registry, the filing of court processes has been fully automated with all the necessary features to allow for an end-to-end e-filing. Chief among the essence of the E-registry is that it has provided solutions to most of the challenges plaguing e-filing and remote hearing in Nigeria before now. For instance, the E-registry has been automated with the necessary filing fees to allow for a quick and effective filing process. The Counsel or the Litigant can have their processes assessed, pay the assessed filing fee and proceed to actually file their processes all on the same platform and within the twinkle of an eye. These filed processes are also automatically synced into the court’s record.
This, is the future of justice delivery- the new normal, which has come to stay.
This novel programme will commence with the publication of Practice Direction on e-filing on the Judiciary website on Monday 27th July, 2020 while e-filing and remote hearing will be launched on Wednesday, 29th July, 2020 with dignitaries led by the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, judges and other stakeholders in the justice sector in attendance. This will be followed by a live demonstration on remote hearing at 9:00am on Thursday, 30th July, 2020.
Arrangements are being put in place for the Bar and Bench to be guided through the process in order to ensure a seamless e-process.