Judges can instill greater public confidence in the courts by embracing technology to improve court services and to speed the pace of justice delivery.
This according to the United States Appeals Court Judge, the Hon. Justice Margaret McKeown speaking at a special forum organized by the Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions and the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) under the theme “Evolving Judicial Practice for the Digital Age”.
Justice McKeown stated that “there is a need for the justice sector to respond more quickly and more effectively because we are now functioning in a world where technology has changed the public’s perception and expectation of speedy and more convenient service delivery.”
She acknowledged that the Internet has been a game changer for the courts, requiring the judiciary not just to understand technology, but to also be cognizant of changing attitudes and behaviours that affect citizens, corporations and nations.
“We need to instil public confidence in the courts by addressing these issues with enthusiasm, not fear, and with an open mind, knowing that like the Internet, our decisions will have a ripple effect in years to come,” she said. “We want to do good and we want to do well, but we also want to do justice. We need to have a mindset and a paradigm change to speed the pace of change, because if we can’t give a good result in a timely manner, then it doesn’t do any good at all.”
Justice McKeown shared the stage with President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Hon. Justice Adrian Saunders and the Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) and CCJ Judge, The Hon. Justice Peter Jamadar.
The Justices commended the organizers and remarked on the timeliness of the event for judicial officers from North American, Latin America and the Caribbean.
“It is vital that the judiciary be kept abreast of technological trends and their implications for our courts, the legal profession and our wider society,” stated Justice Saunders.
The forum was the inaugural event in a series of judicial education programmes being hosted by the Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions and ARIN, in collaboration with the CCJ and CAJO.