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Bahrain courts enter digital age

Manama, June 3, 2009

Millions of court documents are being digitally scanned as part of efforts to bring Bahrain's courts into the 21st century, a top official has said.

It is part of a project to relieve pressure on the judiciary, streamline procedures and protect citizens' dignity, said Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry Under-Secretary Salim Al Kowari.

The first phase includes the introduction of a public information centre at the Execution Court, which puts into action the verdicts of all other courts.

It will streamline procedures under which specialised employees supply defendants with information, address questions and attend to queries from social researchers.

'The aim is to ease up the pressure on courts for people and lawyers wishing to execute verdicts,' Al Kowari told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.

He said the ministry was co-ordinating with Interior Ministry to allow its personnel to be represented at the centre.

This would spare defendants and their lawyers the trouble of having to report to police directorates and governorates.

'The aim is to achieve justice for all because our role is to protect the people's rights and promote the kind of treatment that protects their dignity as citizens,' he said.

Execution directorate acting head Khalifa Al Wardi said the department to execute verdicts was the most important in the Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry.

He stressed the importance of promoting efficiency of the centre which receives a huge number of cases. Last month it processed 32,604 cases received in April.

The modernisation process of the Execution Court began in February following a survey of the problems confronting applicants, defendants, plaintiffs and lawyers.

'We based our development strategy on the survey findings and came up with a four-phase strategy,' said Al Wardi.

The first is a multi-purpose centre to handle all execution files and procedures.

'The centre will operate on a trial basis until June 15 when we can study the procedures and development needed.'

The second involves the introduction of a scanning system, revamped to scan every document to provide electronic copies of the execution files.

He said this phase would also help avert any documents being lost.

The third would use e-correspondence between the directorate and government departments to simplify communication.

A special bureau will be set up for the Interior Ministry to attend to people's queries directly on the spot, he said.

The final step involves the creation of a legal taskforce, which will be commissioned to promote legislation relating to execution procedures.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: law | Justice | Bahrain Courts |

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