• JUSTICE WITHOUT DELAYS

  • JUSTICE WITHOUT DELAYS

  • JUSTICE WITHOUT DELAYS

Active Case Management is the active and continuous oversight by the court of the progress of court proceedings.

Central to the concept is the recognition that, with the assistance of court administration, judges should take ownership of the movement of cases through the system from filing to final disposal. Each actor (including state institutions) in the justice system has specific roles which must be respected, and it is the responsibility of judges to lead the effort. Gaining greater control of the case flow process can lead to more effective advocacy for all litigants.

There are several sets of guidelines for active case management, including CEPEJ and CourtTools. In general, active case management initiatives must:

       1.  Ensure that judges take an active case management role

       2.  Enforce timescales for presentation of evidence

       3.  Introduce strict policies to minimise adjournments

       4.  Ensure that typical case procedures assume the need for only two hearings

       5.  Ensure procedures are consistent with case complexity

       6.  Apply early intervention techniques (i.e. early meetings between the parties)

       7.  Introduce standard formats for written judgments where possible

       8.  Include performance monitoring and evaluation

       9.  Encourage the use of information technology where available

Generally, all it takes to implement them is will, judicial leadership and common-sense. The principles are the same in both common law and civil code systems, and examples of substantial improvement in the delivery of justice through such initiatives can be found in courts throughout the world.