JURIST Project highlights
Delay and Backlog Reduction Mechanisms, including gender responsive court-annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
This high-priority activity will resolve the long delay between the commencement of judicial proceedings and their final resolution and markedly reduce the backlog of cases in the courts. The fundamental cause of the problem is that the judiciary is not managing the cases but it is left to prosecutors, defence attorneys, and attorneys for litigants in civil and family courts to determine their availability and whether or not they will be prepared for trial. Accused persons spend extensive amounts of time in prison awaiting trial and litigants have to wait long periods of time for disposition of their cases. To correct the situation, this activity will create rules, policies and procedures that will compel the cases to be trial ready within a specific period of time between filing and trial and will also establish standards for the delivery of reserved judgments.
Internationally, best practices such as judicial management of cases, plea bargaining, trial readiness , settlement conferences, fixed times for certain filings by attorneys, prosecutorial or judicial review of delayed cases as to likelihood of conviction, the elimination of preliminary inquiries, etc. have been developed that have proven to be most effective in eliminating delay and consequently reducing backlogs. Best practices within the Caribbean region’s capacity will be implemented.
In addition, many of the other activities in this Project will make a direct and/or indirect contribution to reducing delay. They are the statistical information, improved administrative processes, judicial education, improved case flow procedures in the registries, information technology, digital recording of trials, introduction of administrative tribunals, human resource management and court administration training.
Finally, prosecutors and attorneys throughout the region will be required to change their practice methods and major change management plus training will have to be conducted for them.