Design and implementation of a case management information system for Nigerian courts
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1.1 Background of the Study
Case Management Information System is a piece of computer software that allows you to make fewer trips to the filing cabinet by managing and keeping all court activities, cases, case file and proceedings, the judge responsible, the lawyers, the plaintiff and defendant, nature of case or crime etc. It is a method of keeping records of all the case involved in Nigerian Court for easy retrieval. The aim of this project is to design and implement a system that will automate the court routine activities for efficient and effective management of the court daily routine.Today, virtually every business and personnel document is prepared on a computer and mobile hand-held devices. E-mail records and pages visited on the internet yield even more critical information about our daily lives. More importantly, the information stored on a computer can make or break a business or a person or a group of people or a court case.Computer and digital forensics is the science of retrieving and chronicling evidence located on a computer’s hard drive and other sources of Electrically Stored Information (ESI) such as Floppies, CDs and DVDs, External drives, Thumb drives and Voice mail servers, so that it can be presented as evidence in a court of law. It is the se of specialized techniques for recovery, authentication and analysis of electronic data when a case involves issues relating to reconstruction of computer usage, examination of residual data and authentication of data by technical analysis or explanation of technical features of data and computer usage. It is also the professional extraction and handling of potential electronic evidence from any digital device or digital storage media to assist investigators, prosecutors, and the Trier of fact (Judges, Magistrates, and Members of Tribunals) in a criminal justice system in arriving at the right judgment in litigation.
One of the most significant shortcomings in the delivery of justice is the delay that is encountered by court users which increases the cost of litigation in both time and money, and re-suits in pro-longed criminal trials and over-crowded prisons. Delay often results from the absence of accountability both on a case by case basis and in overall terms. Officers in all institutions are able to delay or stop cases moving forward without any fear of being held to account for their actions or inactions. The lack of any effective coordination between the justice institutions also contributes to the delays. In the absence of relevant information on the movement of a case through the system it means that even when questions are asked, there is little understanding of who to speak to or which institution or individual to hold responsible or how to try and trace a case. The lack of reliable central case recording system meant that cases were in effect impossible to trace without considerable resources, effort and a lot of luck (SJG,2010). This work therefore, gives an analysis of the design and implementation of a computerized case management information system for Nigerian court.
- Problem Statement of the Study
The current process of case management information system in Nigerian courts is being operated manually and due to this procedure, numerous problems are been encountered which include:
- Mismatching of case files
- Misplacement of case files
- Lose of case files to rodents; cockroaches, rats etc and fire outbreak.
- Time wastage in accessing case records.
- Aim of the Study
The aim of this project is to design and implement a system that will automate the court routine activities for efficient and effective management of the court’s daily routine.
- Objective of the Study
The objectives of this project study are:
- To design and implement a system that will facilitate the delivery of judgment in Nigerian court.
- To design a model that will facilitate the filing of case in Nigerian court.
- To develop an application that will keep the case record in Nigerian courts to enable easy retrieval of case files.
- To implement a system that will enable easy case management information system in Nigerian courts.
- To save time and stress of moving documents from one place to the other.
- Scope of the Study
This project work (design and implementation of a case management system for Nigerian court) focuses mainly on case information in Nigerian courts.
- Significance of the Study
The above stated topic of discussion will allow society as well as individuals or researcher to have a good understanding of the structure of the court, the court system as well as its process with regards to how cases handled and scheduled.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Computer: This is an electronic device that is cable of solving problems by active data performing prescribed operations on the data accepted and supplies the result of the operation.
Computerization: This is a technique whereby all parts of an organization being run manually are taken over by the use of computer system.
Judge: This is the officer in control of court law who decides how criminal offenders should be punished.
Crime: This includes all illegal activities in general dealt with by legal decisions.
Adjudicate: This means to officially decide who is right in an argument between two groups or organization in a court of law.
Culprit: The person who is guilty of a crime.
Defendant: The person whom a case is issued against.
Plaintiff: This is the person summoning another on a case in a court of law.
Prosecute: To officially charge somebody with a crime in a court of law.
Litigation: An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing in a lawsuit.
Civil case: These are cases or matters against individuals, groups or organizations. They include case of damages, violation of land mark and so on.
Criminal cases: These are matters against the state. They include cases of murder, armed robbery and so on.
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