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Malawi Judges Study Zimbabwe's Electronic Case Management System

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Quadri Adejumo
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Malawi Judges Study Zimbabwe's Electronic Case Management System

A delegation of senior judges from Malawi is currently in Zimbabwe to explore the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS) utilized by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) with the aim of implementing a similar system in Malawi.

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The six-member delegation, led by Malawi Supreme Court Judge Justice Frank Kapanda, met Chief Justice of Zimbabwe Luke Malaba to discuss how Malawi can gain insights from the IECMS and apply it in their own country.

Justice Kapanda explained, "Our purpose in visiting is to learn from the judiciary here, as we are in the process of introducing a comparable system in Malawi. Instead of a classroom setting, we believe learning from where a similar system is in practice is more effective. This visit strengthens the shared goals of the two judiciaries. Despite differences in our court systems – Zimbabwe follows Roman Dutch law while we follow the Common Law system – our purposes intersect, as your actions here impact our justice delivery."

Justice Kapanda highlighted that Zimbabwe and Malawi's Constitutions emphasize accountability and independence, making a transparent measuring system essential. He noted, "This system assesses correctness and cannot be manipulated. It gauges whether actions are appropriate. We anticipate significant learning on enhancing our service to citizens through the reforms we can introduce, inspired by the judiciary's reforms here."

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Walter Chikwana, Secretary for Judicial Service Commission, stated that the delegation's purpose is to learn about Zimbabwe's IECMS, launched in May of the previous year.

Chikwana shared, "Our Malawian counterparts' visit coincides with an important period. We are about to launch the third phase of IECMS on September 1, where the general division of the High Court and the Office of the Sherriff will go live. From that date, paper filing for documents in the High Court, including criminal and family law matters, defamation cases, or divorces, will no longer be accepted. Legal matters will require registration in the electronic system, making electronic litigation the norm. The Malawian delegation is here to witness this launch and understand the journey of the Judicial Service Commission to its current stage."

Chikwana noted that the electronic system was initially introduced in the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, and the Commercial Division of the High Court. Following these upper courts, the JSC proceeded with digitization for the Labour Court and the Administrative Court.

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