Intervention by the President of the Municipal Court of the City of Odintsovo, Moscow region, at the plenary session of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) Council of Europe, which took place from 9 to 10December 2009 in Strasbourg, France
Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues,
I am the representative of the Municipal Court of the City of Odintsovo in the Moscow region of the Russian Federation.
The jurisdiction of the Court is a region whose population is more than one million inhabitants.
There are 26 federal judges and 15 district judges working in the judicial district of Odintsovo, handling an average of more than 2700 criminal cases, 15500 administrative cases, 9200 civil cases and 4300 different cases without commitments of administrative, criminal or civil proceedings.
It is obvious that without the use of new technologies it would be quite difficult to record, handle and discuss in an effective manner and timely legal deadline such a great number of records and requests from citizens.
In accordance with the objectives of the programme "Development of the judiciary in Russia”, important work has been undertaken since 2007 in courts to ensure the implementation of solutions related to information, logistics and technical technologies on the national computerised network level for Justice [Pravosudie]. It is designed as a single information forum for all courts in Russia.
In August 2008, the Municipal Court of the City of Odintsovo moved into a new building with modern facilities and a single network for 130 people, served by 4 powerful servers, equipped with broadband Internet connection. A subsystem “Judicial Instruction and statistics” of the national automated “Justice [Pravosudie]” which now provides registration of investigations in criminal, civil and administrative matters has been installed.
Subsequently, three other sub-systems have been installed in addition:
1. Database of judicial decisions (judgments);
2. Judicial expertise ;
3. Law .
Today, the website shows in real time the status of cases handled by the Tribunal and, more particularly, the timetable of hearings. The same information is also displayed on information boards in the court building.
We use a module for automatic distribution of files. This module contains analytical information on the workload of judges, prepared on the basis of quantitative information on the complexity and delays in processing cases. This allows the President of the Tribunal to track changes in the load of casework by the judges. The mechanism for automatic distribution of files ensures greater impartiality of judges as case processing depends only on the specialisation and the judge's charge, the "personal factor" is thus completely eliminated.
The automated system "Judicial Education and statistics" is extremely simple to use and intuitively clear for users with tools to achieve automated systems created specifically for the judicial authorities and enforcement. The uniform interface for all parties to the investigation (the secretariat, the judges) ensures the same structure and the use of similar sets of functions (the differences are at the level of access permissions and topics available). This allows users to be familiar with the system and train in a short time.
The system has evolved ways of finding information and almost unlimited possibilities for the preparation of analytical information. Using the topics of computer files, even a novice can prepare a report with the requested data.
The calculation of data at the Tribunal is in compliance with requirements management and exploitation of Justice Statistics. The system can automatically fill in electronic format (Excel matrix) forms of statistical reports in accordance with defined standard.
The main merit of this technology lies in automating the most routine functions, which not only reduce staff costs of the judicial system, but also minimize the percentage of errors committed in the manual implementation of such functions.
Are part of the automated system modules work with computerised files of administrative, criminal and civil records. In the same system are different forms including statistics forms / reports for the courts and the module “generator to user requests”, which allows the user to view information in any format requested.
The module for working with documents is a production of various court documents conforming to models / matrices developed by users. This is possible by exploiting the data entered during registration records.
The principle of operation of the subsystem reproduces exactly the process of passing documents to the court for recording the action in the judicial system (criminal or administrative case or other court document); original registration of the document.
Then, the registry of the court records the evidence and the subsequent distribution of records is done automatically.
Clerks and deputy judges are responsible to record the events of the movement's file when the distribution of the record until trial.
After the trial, the work is transferred to the registry office until declassifyng the file to archives.
It is important to mention that with the Web module-established, all information concerning the records (apart from the restricted category) is available for citizens on the website in real time.
As I mentioned earlier, the Tribunal Odintsovo is the highest court in the region. Thus, it is very important that the maximum number of citizens using new technologies, can have access by themselves and at any time to information about their case in court.
The daily work of recording court documents allows the realisation, in just a few seconds, of statistical reports for various periods as required. In addition, the presiding judge and his deputies, judges and assistants, may produce, at any time, an analytical note of the situation on the movement of files, people, the workload of judges. All these elements are likely to allow better organisation of the process of moving files within the court.
Since the start of operation and to date, sub-systems have to prove themselves. The judges, but also citizens who have seen time savings in obtaining information on the movement of their files attest to its effectiveness.
I suppose that by using this system, we contribute to the realisation of the right of access to justice for every citizen and thereby increasing the efficiency of the latter.