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Sarawak and Sabah Courts undergo digital makeover in pursuit of excellence

(SAINS News; 13 Jan, 2023)

KUCHING: Sarawak and Sabah Courts aim to become a world-class modern judiciary.

In stating this, Sarawak and Sabah Chief Judge Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim stated that as a fast growing emerging and developing country, the courts’ aim had always been to deliver a world-class modern justice system that is independent, effective, responsive, efficient, pioneering and one that staunchly upholds the rule of law.

“As most of you are aware, the digitalisation of the Sabah and Sarawak Courts started more than a decade ago.

“Today, we have continued to introduce disruptive technologies into our justice system in order to be future-ready.

“Our Artificial Intelligence in Court Sentencing (AiCOS) system continues to be fed with sentencing data for offences under Subsection 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and will also be implemented for offences under Section 380 of the Penal Code within the year. While its counterpart intended for personal injury claims is in the works,” he said.

He said this during his speech at the Opening of the Legal Year Sabah and Sarawak 2023 at Miri Court on Friday (Jan 13).

He added that the redevelopment of the Integrated Court System (ICS) was also well underway through the e-Kehakiman Sabah Sarawak (eKSS) project.

As such, he disclosed, throughout 2022, a majority of the courthouses in Sabah and Sarawak had undergone a digital makeover with the installation of new hardware and software for the Court Recording Transcription (CRT) system.

“We strive to provide safe, secure and convenient facilities and amenities for our stakeholders. We take note of the facilities that are out of order in some courthouses, particularly the air-conditioning system in the Kuching Court Complex.

“Rest assured that repair works are underway and we will continue working to refurbish, repair and replace these facilities.

“Other than that, we also have integrated the eCourt Finance (ECF) system in an effort to digitise monetary transactions in Courts.

“These are all necessary accompaniments in order for the judiciary to deliver efficient service to the public and stakeholders,” he said.

In realising the aim, Abang Iskandar also stated that as part of their effort to improve access to justice, they were also carrying on the service of the Mobile Court Programme with support from members of the Bar, related government departments and non-government organisations (NGOs).

In line with this, he said that they were committed to equipping members of the judiciary with the right tools for the profession.

“As such, a substantial number of monthly and bimonthly judicial capacity building programmes have been prepared for the Judicial Officers.

“These include, the monthly Judicial Community Forum, the Seminar on Contempt of Court and more. In essence, the Judges and Judicial Commissioners share their knowledge with the officers in an interactive environment,” he said.

For the record, last year, the Sarawak High Court had disposed of 50 per cent out of 8,349 registered civil cases, and 289 out of 1,259 registered criminal cases.

Meanwhile, 63 per cent out of 2,702 registered civil cases were disposed in the Sessions Court in Sarawak while 85 per cent out of 3,962 registered criminal cases were disposed of.

The Magistrates’ Court of Sarawak on the other hand, disposed of 81 per cent out of 7,489 registered civil cases and 92 per cent out of 47,168 registered criminal cases in 2022.

 

New Sarawak Tribune, By Noor Syahhira Hady

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