The Judicial Service Commission of Zimbabwe (JSC) is moving forward with its plan to digitize the country’s court system. As part of this effort, the Labour Court and the Administrative Court will be fully digitized on February 1st. Over 6,000 lawyers, trade unionists, and other stakeholders have already registered to use the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS), which automates and tracks all aspects of a case’s life cycle, from initial filing through to disposition, appeal, and judgement.

The JSC’s Head of Corporate Services, Mr Daniel Nemukuyu, stated that the response from participants has been positive, with 6,250 court users having registered for IECMS so far. He also emphasized that registration is ongoing and that more people are expected to register. The mobile registration exercise, which took place in various regions of the country, saw the registration of many lawyers, labour officers, trade unionists, and other stakeholders.

The IECMS is web-based, and registrants will be able to check progress on court cases online, file documents electronically, access judgements, make e-payments of fees, and conduct virtual hearings. All that is required is a desktop, laptop computer, or a smartphone connected to the internet with a valid email address to lodge legal documents.

The JSC has also put in place a power backup plan to avoid electricity outages and is in the process of procuring more generators to ensure continuity of court sessions.

Progressive Commercial Trades and Allied Workers Union’s General Secretary, Mr Tawanda Mupeti, who benefited from the training, said that digitization of courts will cut transport costs and improve efficiency. Medical Professionals and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe’s Secretary-General, Mrs Tecla Barangwe, also praised the government’s efforts to digitize the court system, stating that it will improve the process of justice.

The first phase of the IECMS, which was launched last year, digitized the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Commercial Court. The Commercial Court became the country’s first paperless court after its commissioning in May of last year.

The JSC’s move towards a fully digitized court system in Zimbabwe is a significant step forward for the country, and it is encouraging to see such a positive response from the legal community and other stakeholders. The digitization of courts is expected to improve efficiency and reduce costs, while also improving the process of justice. The JSC’s plans to install backup generators to ensure the continuity of court sessions is a positive move and will help to ensure that justice is served in a timely and effective manner.