The future of court proceedings: The Court Online system

November 1st, 2022
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The Office of the Chief Justice has held two training workshops for legal practitioners on the Court Online system. The website of the South African Judiciary describes ‘Court Online’ as an e-filing, digital case, and evidence management system for the High Courts. The system will allow legal practitioners to file documents electronically without having to be physically present at court. The system also enables managing court appearance diaries and court evidence instantaneously online with ease.

The Court Online system will allow electronic documents to be automatically routed to the designated registrar clerk for processing. The website of the judiciary adds: ‘The system will also allow further routing within the courts e.g. for approvals by the Registrar and a reply is then sent out by the registrar clerk which is routed back to the originating LF [Law Firm]/litigant. This shall enable realisations of improvements in efficiency by minimising paper flow to shorten case processing time. The process shall be fast, convenient and efficient’ (www.judiciary.org.za).

The system will provide an electronic case file showing upcoming hearing dates and documents that have been filed or served or any other important notifications received from the courts. Added to that the system will be an electronic platform for the exchange and sharing of documents between parties. The fact that the system is online, should allow for faster responses, as well as accurate and real time information, which will lead to speedy inspection of documents electronically and the ability to request for and receive electronic extracts of documents. Litigating parties will attain details of hearing fixtures through SMS or e-mail. Judges will use the system to adjudicate disputes electronically.

The system will be limited to the civil court proceedings covering the following matters –

  • judicial case management;
  • civil and criminal appeals;
  • Commercial Court;
  • default judgments;
  • divorce actions;
  • leave to appeal;
  • opposed motions;
  • ordinary civil trials;
  • r 43 applications;
  • special civil trials;
  • special motions/third court;
  • summary judgment applications;
  • trial interlocutory applications; and
  • unopposed motions.

Court Online can be accessed on any laptop or tablet with Internet access and an Internet browser that is HTML5 compliant, since the system is web based, no programme needs to be loaded onto your device. To register for the Court Online system, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to https://sajustice.caselines.com
  2. Click on ‘Register’.
  3. Fill in the registration form and click on Register.
  4. Look out for your ‘verification e-mail’ in your mailbox. When it arrives, click on the link in the e-mail to verify your account. (Please check your spam folder, as it may have diverted into this mailbox. If you have not received your verification link within 15 minutes, contact the Helpdesk for support).

 

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This article was first published in De Rebus in 2022 (Nov) DR 3.

 

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