Original Research

Digital justice delivery in Zimbabwe: Integrated electronic case management system adoption

Leon Poshai, Shikha Vyas-Doorgapersad
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 25, No 1 | a1695 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v25i1.1695 | © 2023 Leon Poshai, Shikha Vyas-Doorgapersad | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 April 2023 | Published: 26 September 2023

About the author(s)

Leon Poshai, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Shikha Vyas-Doorgapersad, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Judiciary institutions are transforming their operations from analogue to digital intending to expedite justice delivery globally. In Zimbabwe, the Judicial Service Commission (JCS) adopted the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS) in February 2022 as an online platform designed to digitalise the litigation process. However, the anticipated benefits, potential challenges and prospects of the IECMS as a digital justice delivery innovation in Zimbabwe are yet to be evaluated.

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to evaluate Zimbabwe’s IECMS with the view to establishing its viability in bringing expediency in justice delivery by the country’s courts.

Method: The study employs a qualitative desk research methodology to collect data from secondary sources such as research papers and newspaper articles focusing on the implementation of the IECMS in Zimbabwe. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: The findings of this study revealed that the IECMS has the potential to revamp the judiciary in Zimbabwe. However, its successful implementation in courts could be challenged by resistance to change, technological resource constraints, the lack of public awareness, technological illiteracy by users and poor Internet connectivity in Zimbabwe.

Conclusion: The study concludes that while the IECMS seems to be a major transformation in the judicial sector in Zimbabwe, its successful adoption must be preceded by investments in technology to ensure uninterrupted Internet connectivity by litigants and their representatives.

Contribution: This article provides a critical appraisal of the viability of adopting digitalisation in the judiciary in the context of developing countries.


Keywords

digital justice delivery; judiciary transparency; judiciary efficiency; virtual court; digitalisation.

JEL Codes

D63: Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement; D73: Bureaucracy • Administrative Processes in Public Organizations • Corruption

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

Metrics

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Crossref Citations

1. Technological Innovations in India’s Legal Sector for Access to Justice During and Post Pandemic
Priti Saxena
Law and Development Review  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1515/ldr-2024-0010