ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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Towards the adoption of e-justice in South Africa and the developing world: prospects and challenges

Amos Saurombe


In spite of the technological boom and the desire to develop electronic filing in the justice sector, South Africa and other developing countries on the African continent experience challenges in their operational systems. Technology has had a prevalent impact on nearly all social domains, one being the judicial system. Advancements such as computer-generated demonstrations and electronic filing can enhance presentations to give a clearer, well-organized case. For the purposes of this article e-justice entails the use of information communication and storage technologies in the court system. Such a move is vital for South African and similar jurisdictions that struggle to cope with the clogged court system, which is mainly a result of poor handling of court documents and high crime rates. The main aim of this article is to explore the rationale for employing e-justice in court system knowledge management. E-justice is still in its infancy in the third world. Therefore, this article will not test any hypothesis, but rather, explore, clarify and analyse the importance of e-justice in developing countries. In evaluating the adoption of e-justice, this article refers to various best practices that have been adopted and utilised in other countries. E-justice is part of e-government efforts to invest in public service delivery. The literature shows that e-justice evaluation is still an immature area as regards development and management. The importance of e-justice becomes even more apparent if one considers that it is part of the judiciary prerogative to adjudicate the sphere of e-government; hence, employing e-justice modalities will help the sector to deal with legal imperatives associated with the information and communication technology (ICT) paradigm.

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