Judicial Information Management Systems (JIMS) can be used to help the judiciary manage and complete their daily work. These systems can also be used to prevent data corruption and allow data “mining,” that identifies potential corruption activities. This chapter briefly discusses the issue of judicial corruption and describes automated system functions that can be used to eliminate and potentially indicate corrupt practices.
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution with the authority to adjucate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law systems, courts as the central means for dispute resolution and it is generally understood that all persons have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the right of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court. The system of courts that interpret and apply the law are collectively known as the judiciary. The place where a court sits is known as a venue. The room where court proceedings occur is known as a court-room and the building is a court-house An electronic databank of information is kept about every accused that is remanded to prison custody by the Magistrates or High Courts. Due to recent developments in information and communication technology several application developers have come up with systems that identifies each accused by a unique reference number, tracks key events in the progress of his case, and provides a search facility to enable the current status, location and history of the case to be established at any time. This implies that the utilization of computer programs in the judiciary has improved its effective administration of justice. McMillan (2007).
The increasing prevalence of information technology in the justice domain has brought about significant changes in the way court information is structured, captured, stored, accessed, maintained, distributed, secured and preserved. These changes are challenging traditional information management policies and practices that are intrinsically based on a paper paradigm. Before effective new information management policies can be formulated however, the significant differences between paper and electronic information must be considered alongside the unique challenges of our new digitized environment. In a court, information is everything. The verdict of the judge for instance and the name of the plaintiff, defendant, witness etc are all relevant information that needs to be stored for future reference. Many courts especially in Nigeria are not adopting Information and Communication Technology to facilitate the recording and retrieval of information despite the importance. Technological developments in the world have made organizations to shift from manual systems to computerized systems.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The manual way of processing and recording judiciary cases is associated with a lot of problems. Several problems characterize the justice system such as: lack of responsibility for cases, poor communication among the criminal justice institutions, and the lack of reliable central case recording system and the prolonged de-lay of cases generally. The length of time awaiting trial persons stay in prison is too lengthy thereby leading to congestion of prisons. There is high level of delay in administration of justice. This situation is present as the result of the absence of an efficient system to manage court cases. It is in view of these problems that this research study is embarked upon.
1.3 Aim/objectives of the study
The aim of the study is to design and implement a judicial information system. The following are the specific objectives:
1.5 Scope of the study
This study covers design and implementation of judicial information management system using magistrate court, Ikot Ekpene as a case study.
1.6 Organization of Research
This research work is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.
Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.
Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It presents the research methodology used in the development of the system, it analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.
Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation, the choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.
Chapter five focuses on the summary, constraints of the study, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.
1.7 Significance of the study
The significance of the study is that it will facilitate the easy storage and retrieval of needed information pertaining to court cases handled by the judiciary of Magistrate court, Ikot Ekpene. The system also aids data mining through querying of the database. This will in turn boost the operations of the courts and make them operate at a world class level. The study will also serve as a useful reference material to other researchers seeking for information pertaining judicial information management system.
1.8 Definition of terms
Case : A matter examinee or judged in a court of law.
Court: Meeting where legal judgments are made. Also seen as an official body that has authority to try cases, resolve disputes, or make other legal decisions.
Crime: An action prohibited by law or failure to act as required by law.
Defendant: a person or company required to answer charges in a court.
Judiciary: the branch of a country’s central administration that is concerned with dispensing justice
Judge: a high-ranking court officer, formerly a lawyer, who supervises court trials, instructs juries, and pronounces sentence
Judicial: Relating or belonging to a body of judges or to the system that administers justice
Management: the organizing and controlling of the affairs of a business or a sector of a business or organization. Also, the act of handling or controlling something successfully.
Plaintiff: Somebody who brings a law suit against somebody else (defendant) in court.
Proceedings: Published records of meeting or conference.
System: A combination of related components working together to achieve a particular goal.