Court Technology

 

Maldives E-court Management System (MEMS)

Much work have been carried out in the past to utilize modern technology for the work of the Judiciary. However, not much progress was achieved due to various challenges and a new project was to be carried out in 2006. The main aim of the project was to make the Judiciary a paperless work environment reliant on information technology, and providing expeditious service to the public. The main components of MEMS include Court module, Employees Information System (EIS) and mail management.

  1. Employee Information System (EIS)
  • EIS is a module prepared to keep all the records of the employees. Under the module records of the staff of the Judiciary will be maintained.
  • Records related to Employee attendance and leave will be managed within the EIS. All receipts related to hiring, firing and changes in position of staff of the Judiciary will be generated through the system and information will always be updated to the registry. With the assistance of this software, information on the number of staff, vacant positions, age, duration a staff has been in a position and training sessions the staff have participated in will be easily maintained. Also all leave related matters are managed within the system inclusive of request for leave, arrangement of leave and assigning of tasks and issuing the necessary chits.
  • A main component of EIS is to generate the salary sheet of staff through the system inclusive of deductions for late fine and overtime calculations.
  • Training module of EIS prepares training requirement, monitors its level of implementation and keep records of staff being trained and staff who have completed the trainings.

 

  1. Mail Management

Within the mail management system all mail received to the office will be managed through the system, in this respect;

  • All documents received by the office are entered and processed through the system and sent to the respective sections. Responses to the queries are monitored through the system.
  • All documents sent from the office are managed through the dispatch segment of mail management where numbers are assigned through the system.
  • MEMS software will be used by the Courts, the Department of Judicial Administration and other offices of the Judiciary.
  • The mechanism to scan and upload the required documents to the system has been arranged.
  • In addition to the above mentioned, the system also manages complaints related to cases, manage the schedule of the head of office, manage meetings arranged by the office and manages finance related matters within the system.

 

  1. Court Module (MACS)
  • When case management is computerized it would include accepting and approving case forms to the courts, accepting fees for registering cases, assigning cases to the judges, scheduling of cases, preparation of chits, confirmation of receipt of chit to the parties who have to be present for the case, confirming attendance of the persons to court and record the court proceedings and the verdicts.
  • Transferring an ongoing case from one judge to another for reasons of leave or any other reason with the consent of the Chief Judge is facilitated in the system.
  • There is easy access in the system for information such as list of pending cases within a section and list of pending cases in the entire court system as well as daily case schedule.
  • Included in the post judgement actions are the availability of sentence execution chit, debt chit, alimony chit from within the system and updating of criminal records.
  • In collections of debt and alimony the area which would be computerized would include keeping record of the payments made and the payments in pending to the courts.
  • The area which would be computerized include the issuance of court orders and generating the court orders through the system and maintaining records of it. Included in this are search warrants, remand for investigation, release from remand, freezing accounts, the confiscation of passports and all other court orders.
  • In the area of marriage and divorce, the acceptance of marriage forms and divorce forms, maintaining the marriage and divorce registry, preparing marriage and divorce certificates and maintaining all records related to marriage and divorce will be computerized.
  • Old documents are to be archived including marriage records and documentation of old cases to enable easy access and immediate retrieval for any person approved by the courts.

 

Additional Components of MEMS

  • Included in the e-filing are acceptance by the courts of electronic case forms sent by law firms, the Prosecutor General’s office and the Attorney General’s office and channelling them through the entry process.
  • Included in the maintenance of lawyer’s registry are information on all lawyers registered to practice in the Courts of the Maldives and to keep the information updated at all times and give courts access to information on lawyers’ registry.

MEMS software is the official software to be used in all courts and offices of the Judiciary.  The Department of Judicial Administration will develop and maintain the software. The version of the software currently in use is 03.

 

Audio Visual Conference System

The Atoll capitals, the courts of Male’ and the Department of Judicial Administration have been connected by an audio visual conference system. This is a vital medium used to take witness statements from long distance and for other purposes of the courts. All Magistrate Courts and Courts in Male’ are connected through the Audio Visual system. In addition to all Magistrate Courts in the Atoll Capitals, the Magistrate Court of Kaafu Maafushi, Courts in Male’ and the Department of Judicial Administration are connected and have begun using the Audio Visual facility.

The bandwidth used for audio visual purposes is 2mbps. The Judiciary is utilizing a high end HD Polycom system.

 

Court Recording System

A high end Bose system is being used to digitize and record court proceedings. 120 courts are currently using the system. Other courts are currently using digital recorders. These courts are also being upgraded in phases.

 

Integrated Communication System

The largest wide area network established in the Maldives is at the judiciary. Every island with a population of over 1000 have been connected through an integrated communications network. Once when the network is complete, a total of 101 islands will be connected. These islands will be connected with a 2Mbps bandwidth pipe.

Internet and voice communication will be available throughout the network. For general communication purposes the network will be utilizing voice over IP phones. Furthermore, the network will facilitate for fax service without using a fax machine.

All courts and offices in the network will use MEMS through the internet.

 

Software Development

MEMS and MACS the vital software for the judiciary are being developed, written and debugged by programmers working at the Department of Judicial administration. In addition, the 6 websites and database of the department are developed and managed by the IT team of the Department of Judicial Administration.

 

Data Management

The Department of Judicial Administration securely manages its data in servers located in 3 points and data back-up of these servers are kept.

 

Document Management System

The Judiciary of the Maldives generate largest number of data. In general, two types of data are generated from the Judiciary. These are the administrative documents and documents related to cases.

All documentation related to cases are archived and managed at the Department of Judicial Administration. 40,000 files are created annually by the courts established in Male’ including the Supreme Court, the High Court and the Superior Courts. An area of 800sq feet is needed for this.

In addition to old documents, marriage and divorce documents sent from the Atolls are scanned and archived daily. 130,000 pages are scanned monthly for archiving.

Over a million administrative and judiciary related documents are managed by the Department. The 2400sq feet allocated for storage is small and additional space is needed.