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With the increase of the communication systems' bandwidth and with the dissemination of the information systems, the fields of information and communication technology application expanded in almost all directions. E-government in general and e-justice in particular are no exception and these areas suffered strong changes in the last decades. There is no democracy without a system of swift and transparent justice. Therefore, the introduction of information systems in the courts allows a decrease both in time and number of pending processes, boosting the efficiency of the services provided to citizens and to the society in general.This paper analyzes and discusses different worldwide e-justice experiences. Special emphasis is addressed on the risk factors on the design, development and implementation of such systems. Finally, we present our own experience in the development of an e-justice information system in Cape Verde, an African development country. The scope of our system ranges from the design team until the training of the justice agents.
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Risk factors in e-justice information systems
João Rosa, Cláudio Teixeira , Joaquim Sousa Pinto
Department of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
abstractarticle info
Available online 23 May 2013
Risk factors
Information system
Developing countries
Cape Verde
With the increase of the communication systems' bandwidth and with the dissemination of the information
systems, the elds of information and communication technologyapplication expanded inalmost all directions.
E-government in general and e-justice in particular are no exception and these areas suffered strong changes in
the last decades. There is no democracy without a system of swift and transparent justice. Therefore, the intro-
duction of information systems in the courts allows a decrease both in time and number of pending processes,
boosting the efciency of the services provided to citizens and to the society in general.
This paper analyzes and discusses different worldwide e-justice experiences. Special emphasis is addressed
on the risk factors on the design, development and implementation of such systems. Finally, we present
our own experience in the development of an e-justice information system in Cape Verde, an African devel-
opment country. The scope of our system ranges from the design team until the training of the justice agents.
© 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
In the last decade e-government systems became a central concern
in the countries' policies. E-government is dened by OECD as the
use of information and communication technologies, and particularly
the Internet, as a tool to achieve better government(OECD, 2003).
These information systems provide a tool to organizations and people
to computerize procedures and everyday tasks, combining technology,
organization know-how and people experience.
E-government states that it can improve efciency, decrease budget
and increase trust between society and governments. With these major
goals, governments can reform public services, improve quality and try
to reduce corruption.
The separation amongst the executive, legislative and judicial
powers is the keystone in democratic countries. Citizens hope to
have a fair, efcient and transparent justice system. To help reaching
for better justice, e-justice information systems are designed to han-
dle lawsuit related information, mimicking and possibly improving
traditional paper based workows, thus providing a useful tool to
involved agents.
According to the 2011 Economist Intelligence Unit report (Economist
Intelligence Unit, 2011), Cape Verde is the rst African country in the
Democracy Index (ranked 26th), leading over countries like Portugal
(ranked 27th), France (ranked 29th) or Brazil (ranked 45th) and just
behind Spain (ranked 25th). Over the last decades they have improved
their democratic structures, developing democracy, and their efforts
are recognized by the international community.
Cape Verde is an archipelago of 9 islands located in the Atlantic
Ocean with a combined area of over 4000 km
. According to the
2010 census, the country has 491,875 inhabitants, 50.5% female and
49.5% male (Instituto Nacional de Estatística de Cabo Verde, 2011).
The population increased 11.6% compared to the 2000 census.
In terms of justice, in 2008, 8415 court cases were led and in 2009
there was a decrease of 5.56% on led cases, totaling 7972 new cases
(Conselho Superior da Magistratura Judicial, 2010). In terms of cases
reaching a decision, there were 7762 in 2008, and 6996 in 2009, signal-
ing a decrease of 10.95% on decided cases. When comparing led vs.
decided cases (pendency), there is a drag of 8% cases in 2008 and 12%
cases in 2009, totaling about 10% of dragged cases in just 2 years.
At this rate, the courts will be more and more clogged and justice will
be served more and more slowly. The informatics tools presented in
the justice system were virtually nil with only productivity tools
installed and used in the clerk's computers at the courthouses. This
makes the procedure slow and time consuming, because there is no
standard procedure through the justice system and the assignment of
human resources is not efcient.
Therefore, in 2008 the Cape Verdean Ministry of Justice started
the planning for the development of an information system, named
SIPP (Sistema de Informação do Processo Penal/Criminal Proceedings
Information System), to be used in the courts of law. SIPP is a joint
initiative, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice of Cape Verde, the
Superior Council of Magistracy and the Superior Council of Prosecutors
and would be developed from scratch by the University of Aveiro and
University of Cape Verde. The SIPP has been in testing phase since
June 2010 and will be put in production during 2012. This paper
Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks License, whichpermits non-commercial
use, distribution, and reproduction in anymedium, provided the original author and source
are credited.
Corresponding author. Fax: +351 234 370 545.
E-mail addresses: (J. Rosa), (C. Teixeira),
(J. Sousa Pinto).
0740-624X/$ see front matter © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect
Government Information Quarterly
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assesses the risk factors of developing such system, based on previous
experiences and on our own experience.
This paper is organized as follows: this section introduces the
problem addressed in this paper; Section 2 details on previous expe-
riences worldwide regarding the adoption of electronic systems to
court cases; Section 3 compares the cases studies presented and
draws conclusions from these experiences; Section 4 presents the
information systems and tools used for modeling e-government
systems; Section 5 presents the Cape Verdean experience; Section 6
presents the risk factors involved in e-justice systems; and nally,
Section 7 presents the conclusions and future work.
2. Case studies
In this section we present what we assessed as relevant case studies
in e-justice systems. The process of analysis and comparison of the
case studies is based on the methodology dened by Velicogna et al.
(Velicogna, Errera, & Derlange, 2011; Velicogna, 2007). According
with the authors, their methodology is the m ost effective to study the in-
novative character of ICT (Information and Communication Technology)
in the broad area of Justice. Inthe aforementioned methodology, authors
make a comparative analysis of the case studies within different catego-
ries (Technology, Organization, and Complexity). Similar to this ap-
proach, Fabri (2007) uses his own topic characterization to evaluate
the case studies.
Despite being based on the Velicogna's approach, our analysis
includes broader geographical, social, economic, and political infor-
mation of the countries analyzed. This broader overview helps to
contextualize the problems that each country tried to address at a
given time. Within every case studied, we describe the Justice sce-
nario from the rst computerization attempts to the currently solu-
tions (if any). As important as the system-per-system comparison,
we bring a development perspective of each of the analyzed countries.
Also, when information about theoverall system infrastructure is avail-
able (from state of the art, local legislation and regulations, social com-
munication, etc.), we include it on the evolution overview. Finally,
considering that even the best computer systems require users to inter-
act with, if available, we include the user's feedback, the development
support groups' feedback and usage information about the analyzed
This approach presents readers an overview in terms of evolution
of each country's Justice ICT efforts, and offers an evolution compari-
son (Justice wide), rather than a comparison over specic systems.
The evolution and outcome of each country's Justice System offer in-
valuable lessons in terms of what to do, what to expect, and what not
to do when starting a new project or an evolution of a project within
the Justice System.
The criteria to choose the relevant case studies were: (1) their
innovative character; (2) the quality of available information (both
technical and non-technical) about those systems; (3) the different
social contexts and culture mindsets in which such systems were
deployed; and (4) failed and successful examples.
2.1. Singapore
2.1.1. The Justice system prior to ICT attempts
Singapore was the rst country to design and implement an
information system for the justice system.
Back in 1991, Singapore's justice system faced the backlog prob-
lem, where a case took too long to produce a decision, and unsolved
processes started to increase (Magnus, 1999). When the authorities
diagnosed the justice system, they tried to nd the causes for this
problem and created a plan to decrease the time it took to produce
a decision. This was accomplished by adopting solutions like night
courts and cultural changes in methods and approaches when work-
ing in a case (Subordinate Courts). In 1993 the backlog problem was
solved and the justice authorities wanted to increase the courts'
performance, continuing with the new reforms.
2.1.2. ICT evolution
To execute the new reforms, the justice authorities used the knowl-
edge network created with their worldwide peers, facing the same
problems, and adopted good practices, know-how and technology to
create the rst e-justice information system. This information system
is based on multimedia kiosks, named ATOMS (Automated Trafc
Offence Management System) (Magnus, 1999). With these multimedia
kiosks they exposed somecourt services to citizens, like the payment of
nes and the ability to plead guilty of offenses by the citizens, 24 h a
day, 7 days a week, through this system.
This is a centralized system, where all multimedia kiosks are linked
to ATOMS database, which manages the offender's information (Fig. 1).
This system was the pioneer in the e-justice systems, enabling citizens
to pay their nes, or consulting cases in other locations, without
addressing to the court.
In 1996 Singapore authorities took a new approach in application
development and infrastructure management. Until then, the applica-
tion development and infrastructure management were ensured by IT
(Information Technology) professionals linked to the public authori-
ties. This approach led to a budget escalation. In 1996 however, the
authorities decided to outsource both application development and
infrastructure management, releasing resources to apply in other pro-
jects, other areas or new reforms. This approach was expected to re-
duce the overall budget, while boosting the country's economic
growth. In 1999 web-based applications began replacing desktop ap-
plications. Not only had the application's interactivity changed, but
also the standard web-based access to information enabled data and
documents exchange between justice entities. This helped on im-
proving efciency, transparency and decreasing the time consumed,
because it changed the way of addressing the Court. This second gen-
eration of information systems uses a typical 3-tier layer (Fig. 2)
using Oracle databases, FileNet workow systems and Powerbuilder
or Oracle client software. To standardize electronic documents inter-
change, they have elected PDF (Portable Document Format).
After this shift, one of the new web-based information systems,
designed and developed to replace the legacy systems, was the EFS
Fig. 1. ATOMS architecture.
242 J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
(Electronic Filing System), implemented in the end of 1999. This
information system was developed for civil matters, allowing lawyers
to le electronic documents and providing real-time information to
all involved entities.
In 2002 Singapore launched the ICJS (Integrated Criminal Justice
System). This project intended to link all entities involved in the
criminal justice process, using the country's justice network. With
this approach, Singapore justice system gained an integrated system,
and reached all the entities involved in court cases. At the same time
they tted the courtrooms with video-conferencing systems, thus
enabling citizens to participate on trial sessions from any courthouse,
protecting violent crime victims against their perpetrators.
Butwithallthesesystems,theow of data grew exponen-
tially and the communication network started to overow. With
this technological constrain, the authorities started a new project
to upgrade the communication network infrastructure, creating the
BENI (Broadband Enterprise Network Infrastructure) based on ATM
(Asynchronous Transfer Mode) technology (Orzessek & Sommer,
1997; TelecomSpace, 2011). BENI was nished in 1999, and held a
high speed backbone of 622 Mbps, scalable up to 2.1 Gbps, supported
by WAN (Wide Area Network) segments of 45 Mbps each, connecting
the different locations where justice entities operated. This upgrade
led to the update of the retail communication network infrastructure,
with download capacities ranging from 6 to 8 Mbps and a penetration
rate of 98%. After a decade, a new project is running, to upgrade the
country's network to broadband network at 1 Gbps, adding value to
the economy and society (Wever, 2009).
In 2002 Singapore authorities estimated that 50% of the court
services were already computerized. Nevertheless, it was still possi-
ble to address the courthouse using the traditional methods. Both
methods (electronic and traditional) coexisted without impairing
the efciency in the courthouse or in the process.
To improve the security in these information systems, they
implemented a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) (Singapore Network
Services Pte Ltd, 2007), represented in Fig. 3:
With this feature all documents can be ciphered/deciphered and
digitally signed, increasing the security of the systems against threats.
Electronic documents can be authenticated and their integrity and is-
suers veried. To manage the PKI, theSupreme Court or the Subordinate
Courts nominate a publicly available, commercial entity as the Root
CA (Certication Authority) authorized to issue the certicates to law
rms, lawyers and court users.
2.1.3. Results and lessons learned
Currently, the described systems are in use, and subject to com-
mon software updates. Singapore's experience positively reinforced
the general notion of gradual introduction of novel systems. They
started by addressing a specic problem, with a tight goal oriented
approach for handling trafc offenses. With the success of this rst
system, and considering that it required some core court services
available for machine-to-machine communication, they embraced
the new goal of managing court cases.
Considering that the rst computerization approaches were made
in the 90's there was the need to shift from a mainframe like approach
to web technologies, making system maintenance and access simpler.
The new web applications, with support for videoconferencing and
other technological advances produced an unanticipated result: net-
work overow. To overcome this constrain, they upgraded the commu-
nication network infrastructure, with benets for everyone (both public
and private services).
In terms of the development and support models for the different
applications in use, the rst approach was based on an internal develop-
ment team and later on outsourcing. To the best of our knowledge,
there is no available information on problems regarding either solution,
with budget constrains considered as the main reason for shifting from
one approach to the other.
2.2. Brazil
2.2.1. The Justice system prior to ICT attempts
Brazil is a federation of states (despite having a national policy for
nancial and scal matters). Each state is responsible for its justice
system, taking different interpretations of the law, different proce-
dures and organics. This leads to a high level of fragmentation be-
tween states, not only at procedures level, but also at administrative
level. At the court level, central courts exist in each state capital,
and small claims courts spread around the state.
In terms of backlog and congestion rates, according to the Justice
National Counsel (Conselho Nacional de Justiça), in 2003 there was a
congestion rate of 81.4% in the rst degree federal courts, 76.2% in
the second degree federal courts and 77.2% in the specialized courts
(Conselho Nacionalde Justiça, 2013). From 2003to 2007, the congestion
rates kepton shortening (78%, 60.5% and 42.2%, respectively), mostly as
a result of a bigger investment in manpower and new courthouses.
From 2007 to 2011 (last known report), the congestion rates were
kept relatively stable.
Fig. 2. General implementation of Singapore's 2nd generation of information systems.
Fig. 3. Singapore justice PKI.
243J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
2.2.2. ICT evolution
Brazil's justice information system passed through several stages of
maturation (Andrade & Joia, 2010). Brazil's information system evolu-
tion is deeply connected with the Brazilian administrative system.
The ICT evolution in Brazilian courts can be divided into three
phases: individual initiatives, computerization and virtualization.
Individual initiatives are carried by each court member, and relate
to the identication and usage of productivity tools (liketext processors
or spreadsheet editors) that each member best identies to carry out its
functions. With this approach, each court member created his own pro-
cedural criteria and taxonomy for each task, which resulted in a higher
fragmentation level in work inside of the same court division.
To overcome the intrinsic fragmentation resulting from the indi-
vidual initiatives, several information systems were created to coordi-
nate the administrative work and justice process at state level. Some
states bought their information systems, while others developed their
own. This plethora of information systems raised data and documents
interchange problems. The extreme example was that different ver-
sions of the same system, implemented in courts at the same state,
were not able to communicate amongst each other.
When this problem became a liability, they advanced to a
virtualization phase, with the creation of a national virtual system that
would be implemented locally, with the rules of the state. This approach
tried to create a unifying information system for all states. This system
could be customized inside each state, at the court level. Despite of
the different maturation levels in the computerization phase between
courts (even in the same state), virtualization took the lead. However
the results were a disaster, since the degree of customization in the in-
formation system led to a steep learning curve of the overall system. The
studies made at the time revealed losses of over 50 million US dollars,
leading to the abandonment of this model in 2010 (Andrade & Joia,
With this experience, a common strategy for the country was
created, with a project until 2014 with the following requisites:
Provide to all courts adequate computer equipment;
Develop an information system that unies the justice system.
This information system must:
Be based in industry standards, preferably using open source
Be web-based;
Digitalize and automate the process distribution;
Create mechanisms to monitor case related penalties, with special
attention to temporary arrests;
Make accessible process procedures, respecting the process privacy.
After identifying the major goals and dening the overall strategy,
the communications infrastructure was singled out as an important
piece to support the new information systems. To cope with the
demands of communications, they devised a plan to upgrade the
communications infrastructure. In this plan, the connection between
the courthouses should be of at least 2 Gbps, and in each state capital
the network should link central courts and small claims courts. The
network over the state should connect at least 20% of small claims
To secure data, Brazil took advantage of a preexisting national
PKI (Barra, 2006; Coelho, 2010). This national PKI was created by
federal law, in 2001, where the Civil House of the Presidency of
the Brazilian Republic transformed the ITI (Instituto Nacional de
Tecnologia da Informação/National Information Technology Institute)
in the unique Root CA, creating the national PKI, with the infrastruc-
ture represented in Fig. 4. The Steering Committee was created for
the regulation of the whole PKI and auditing the Root CA. Federal
government and civil society representatives formed this com-
mittee. Along with this, the COTEC (Comitê Técnico da Infraestrutura
de Chaves Públicas Brasileira/Steering Committee and Executive
Technical Commission) was created with representatives from fed-
eral government and consultants to this process. ITI was responsible
for managing root certicates' life cycles and accreditation, auditing
and issuance of subsequent CAs and their certicates.
Below the Root CA, each organic unit from the civil states in Brazil
was entitled a rst level CA with the RA (Registration Authority), with
an optional ICA (Intermediate CA) and RA (depending on internal or-
ganization), as presented in Fig. 5. The ICAs and RAs can represent
public or private sectors (ITI, 2011).
When the e-justice information system needed a PKI in 2004, they
choose the national PKI, but the National Bar Association, on behalf of
the lawyers, produced a strong opposition against this approach, using
technical issues arguments (Martínez & Abat, 2009). The real argument
however, was political, since lawyers did not want to use a system subor-
dinated to the executive power. Moreover, the National Bar Association
had its own PKI. If they joined the national PKI, that investment would
be wasted. In 2006 a federal law modied the Civil Procedure Code, rec-
ognizing the national PKI as the single PKI in the justice system. With
these changes, the National Bar Association accepted its use and shared
the lawyers' information with this executive initiative, apart some
lawyers' intent to the impugnation of these law changes.
2.2.3. Results and lessons learned
Brazilian Justice Information systems and applications are currently
in a transition phase. Due to its intrinsic administrative organization,
each Brazilian State was able to decide on how to implement its in-
formation system (internal development, copied from other state, or
bought fromsoftware houses). However, since there were no directives
to enforce the use of standards and systems communication, most
Fig. 4. Brazilian PKI.
244 J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
adopted solutions failed to communicate withothers (even on the same
administrative State). To overcome this problem, Brazilian authorities
started a new project for the development of a national information
Despite the theoretical benets that arise with the introduction of
information systems, only when this national information system is
in place will it be possible to assess its factual benets. Until now,
the congestion rate drop was supported by the increase of judges
and clerks.
The Brazilian experience reminded us that the correct planning of
information interfaces and rules of communication is essential for pro-
jects of such magnitude to be successful. In the rst attempts, Brazil
failed to congregate its States' independence with the requirements
of a national information system for the Justice. The new project tries
to handle these specicities, by designing a communication standard
to be used among all the systems.
Another interesting fact on the new project is the identication
of the supporting system infrastructures upgrade as a major goal.
The telecommunications network will be subject to an upgrade, pro-
viding higher bandwidth. The Brazilian authorities expect that this
upgrade will provide the incentive needed for the use of information
systems as a working tool.
As with Singapore, the Brazilian authorities decided to enforce
document integrity and validation through the use of a PKI. Even
if the PKI architectures in use may be debatable, the benets of its
use were clear for the authorities, given the assurance, by its use, in
terms of security.
2.3. Belgium
2.3.1. The Justice system prior to ICT attempts
Back in the 90's, the Belgium Justice system was struggling
with extreme slowness and sluggishness. Litigation over intellectual
property, for example, would take many years to trial, and companies
found themselves unable to sell their products until the court's deci-
sion. The same thing was happening in criminal matters, like in 1996,
where the Dutroux case required 9 years to take a pedophile to trial.
2.3.2. ICT evolution
In the last decades, the Belgium authorities have tried to introduce
some changes and reforms in the Justice, such as the purchase of com-
puter equipment for the courts, and even given a laptop computer to
each judge (Velicogna, 2007). Due to the more active role of the civil
society, and in the light of the events of the 90's, authorities were
forced to rethink their reforms thoroughly.
Until the year 2000, authorities made several attempts to com-
puterize the justice process, all unsuccessful. These unsuccessful at-
tempts were mainly due to lack of planning, like local attempts to
develop information systems to support some court members, with-
out the perspective of integration in a broader e-justice system. All
these attempts resulted in many concurrent applications, resulting
in a high level of fragmentation, information islands and rapidly
obsolete information systems. An example of this problem was the
existence, at a given time, of 13 different applications with more than
100 databases, despite the lack of data or document interexchange
between them (Martínez & Abat, 2009). After authorities identied
these problems and their causes, they started a restructuring project:
the Phenix Project.
The Phenix Project was designed to increase the ICT in public
administration, increasing the public service and the democratic pro-
cess (Vuyst & Fairchild, 2006). This e-justice system was designed to
cover criminal and civil matters, developing a unifying platform to the
entire justice system. This project led to the creation of a exible frame-
work, created from the common practices of the various agents and
re-engineering where IT technicians identied as more convenient.
During the developing phase of the information system, three
major challenges were identied:
1. Theinformation system had been designed to replace the traditional
way to address to the courthouse, i.e., after the implementation, this
would be the only way to address the courthouse;
2. The use of electronic documents was already enshrined in law, but
the use of an information system to support the whole process was
not. Due to the country government peculiarities, the changes are
required in the national legislation, so that the information system
could be used were identied as one of the main challenges;
Fig. 5. Brazil's CA conceptual architecture.
245J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
3. The change in the justice agents' mindset, since the mode of inter-
action with the justice system would be changed.
Another key point of the system, according to their IT technicians,
was its development using open source technologies. After the start
of the development, a major issue was detected: in case of a catastro-
phe, the information recovery procedure was still to be designed and
considered as a challenge (Vuyst & Fairchild, 2006).
The Phenix system was introduced in small instance courts, trying
to standardize procedures, law interpretation, minimizing the occur-
rence of miscarriages of justice, thereby increasing the efciency of
the justice process and the efcient use of justice resources.
Although this system was web-based, the internet network pene-
tration rate in the country was only 50%, thus constituting an obstacle
to the implementation of an information system with this nature.
The authorities had high hopes in this project, and due to its sim-
ple and transparent procedures, they expected that it would make the
justice system more accessible to society, leading to a greater under-
standing of justice decisions. They also expect to change the agents'
mindset, moving from the physical paradigm, where everything was
in paperto the digital paradigm, where everything from the laws
to consult and procedures to take was computer supported.
Despite the efforts between all stakeholders (IT technicians and
court members) and the budget afforded to the information system,
in 2007 the Ministry of Justice stopped the Phenix Project, leaving
to the next government the nal decision about its continuation
(Martínez & Abat, 2009). The main argument was that the develop-
ment team could not solve the complex technical problems inherent
to such project.
2.3.3. Results and lessons learned
Currently, the Phenix project has come to a halt, by ministerial de-
cision. This was indeed an ambitious project, since it was designed to
support both criminal and civil matters.
From our perspective, and considering the Singapore case study, the
complexity and scale of the problems may have been the main reason
for its failure.In Singapore, authorities began to address small problems,
before moving to the bigger scale issues concerning criminal and civil
matters. This way, they managed to accumulate experience and user
A good project management and context adaptability could have
avoided some of the encountered problems.
2.4. Portugal
2.4.1. The Justice system prior to ICT attempts
Portugal endeavored many efforts along the last three decades
to jump in the digital era (Santos, 2005). In the 80's decade, several
governmental agents tried to introduce information technology in
courthouses, but these efforts had no success (Silva, 2006). In the
following decade, this scenario did not change, despite the massive
buying of computers and other electronic equipment to courthouses,
just as presented in previous case studies.
With the increase of the internet penetration ratio, several public
and private initiatives had created portals and legal databases, pro-
viding information to general public without any type of charges.
2.4.2. ICT evolution
The e-mail was the rst electronic service used to exchange data
amongst agents. Based on this, an internal network was created be-
tween the courthouses, linking secretaries and enabling documents
to be sent by authenticated e-mail. This experience was essential to
support the development of the Habilus information system. Habilus
was created with the objective of simplifying the secretaries' admin-
istrative work. The main justice documents were standardized, and
databases with the processes and their intervenient data were
designed to increase efciency in the court. This information system
was criticized by the stakeholders due to the wrong process taxon-
omy, the lack of elements and the mixing of legal terms.
Despite this information system, process backlog became a prob-
lem in the Portuguese Justice system. To speed up the procedures,
streamline the resources and increase the courts' efciency, a new
integrated information system was developed (Ministério da Justiça,
2003), starting with the administrative and scal courts.
This information system, named SITAF (Sistema de Informação
para os Tribunais Administrativos e Fiscais/Information System for
the Administrative and Fiscal Courts), debuted on January 1, 2004.
SITAF (Direcção-Geral da Política de Justiça, 2005; Instituto das
Tecnologias de Informação na Justiça, 2004)wascreatedtocomput-
erize the administrative and scal processes, with electronic ling
and document delivering. It is a web-based application, with secure
access and a distributed architecture as presented in Fig. 6, available
in 19 courthouses. SITAF's main features include:
A workow engine to manage the process procedures;
Daily automatic process distribution;
Electronic document storage based on standard formats like RTF
(Rich Text Format), TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) and PDF;
Multi-access to the process and its documents between agents.
SITAF was the rst major information system in Portugal developed
specically for the Justice. With this experience, the perspective about
e-justice systems changed, and new projects were developed, in several
phases (Ministério da Justiça, 2008a,b). Other actions were taken in
parallel like renewing the desktop equipment and training the justice
agents engaged in electronic proceedings. In 2008 a new application
called CITIUS was developed to complement the Habilus. CITIUS was
developed specically to civil process acts but based on the SITAF's
philosophy. It supports specically declarative and executive acts and
civil injunctions, and the main users are judges and, since 2009, also
CITIUS has electronic ling and electronic delivery of the digital
documents used in the processes' acts, but for specic acts it is man-
datory the use of the traditional/physical procedure going to court
secretary and deliver the pleading paper instead of sending the
Fig. 6. SITAF distribution architecture.
246 J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
digital document throughout the information system. This small change
caused several system complains. The system trials started rst in a sin-
gle courthouse for a period of half of a judicial year: after that period the
system became universal. During the trials it was possible tosend elec-
tronic documents by e-mail. After the universal introduction of the sys-
tem no more documents could be sent by e-mail, because the digital
platform handles and stores the documents more efciently than the
e-mail boxes. In 2009, prosecutors gained access to CITIUS and were
obliged to use it (Ministério da Justiça, 2008a,b). Later in 2010, CITIUS
information system was upgraded to CITIUS Plus, with some bug xes
and new features (Ministério da Justiça, 2010a,b). The major feature is
the new ability to record the court's hearings ofine when the system
is down or unavailable.
In March 2011, the Portuguese government reinforced the strategic
plan for the Justice, approving a new plan that involves the replacement
of currently existing systems, upgrading users' equipment, improving
the network equipment and increasing the available network band-
width (Presidência do Conselho de Ministros, 2011).
SITAF was one of the selected systems to be upgraded (SITAF 2.0)
due to the changes that occurred in the Administrative and FiscalLaws.
The old Habilus due to some of the known issues will be
replaced with a brand new application that is expected to improve
the work in criminal cases by prosecutors and administrative staff.
The AGIP (Aplicação para a Gestão de Inquéritos-Crime/Application for
Criminal Investigations Management) is being implemented and is
designed to digitally support all procedures in criminal investigations,
decreasing costs, as pointed by Maria José Morgado, Deputy General
Prosecutor. She claims that it will be possible to replace the piles of
hundreds of papers that usually compose the volumes in criminal pro-
cedures, simply by using this information system. The total cost with
AGIP is projected to be around 1.4 million euros, but a rapid return of
the investment is expected (SIC, 2011).
The infrastructure changes were mainly focused on concentrating
scattered resources and upgrading the communications network. With
the new generation networks installed in Portugal, authorities created
the RNCJ (Rede Nacional de Comunicações da Justiça/Justice National
Communications Network). To improve process efciency, a VPN
(Virtual Private Network) is planned, ensuring secure communi-
cation in remote access to the judges and prosecutors. With the
use of such VPN, users not physically in the courthouse can access
the same features and functionalities as if they were working on
the court, saving costs and time (in transports, at least), while
maintaining the same level of integrity and security.
With RNCJ improvement, the ITIJ (Instituto das Tecnologias de
Informação na Justiça/Justice Information Technology Institute) will
change the overall system architecture, moving from a distributed
environment one server for each courthouse, or around 350 servers
to a centralized environment where all the processing activities
will be concentrated on the ITIJ DPC (Data Processing Center). This
change will improve the overall system security and maintenance.
With resource concentration it will be possible to use virtualization
technologies and reduce the actual hardware infrastructure from nearly
900 servers in DPC to near 200, with the obvious decreasing of power
consuming, space requirements, CO
emissions, and most importantly,
with expected savings of nearly 500,000 euros per year.
All these information systems use the Portuguese PKI, created in
2006 by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (Presidência do
Conselho de Ministros, 2006). Fig. 7 outlines the Portuguese PKI.
This national PKI has a SCEE (Sistema de Certicação Electrónica
do Estado/Steering Committee to the Electronic Certication System
of the State), with representatives from the government, the GNS
(Gabinete Nacional de Segurança/National Security Ofce), the National
Homeland Security Network, the FCCN (Fundação para a Computação
Cientíca Nacional/Foundation for National Scientic Computing), IT
(Instituto das Telecomunicações/Telecommunications Institute), among
others. The SCEE has a country level CA, which is available both as a
self-signed Root CA and as an ICA, certied by a publicly available, com-
mercial Root CA, the ECEE (Entidade Certicadora Electrónica do Estado/
Electronic Certication Entity of the State) that is responsible for man-
aging the PKI, and other ICA's in PKI.
The ANS (Autoridade Nacional de Segurança/National Security
Authority) was empowered to audit and issue thecerticates of accred-
itation to ICA entities present in the PKI. The SCEE works independently
from otherprivate and international PKIs, but guarantees that its certif-
icates are recognized worldwide as valid, since the country level ICA
is certied by an international certication authority. Portuguese PKI
is conceptually similar to the Brazilian PKI previously presented: the
country level CA can have several rst level ICAs with the respective
RA, and can support more than one CA level depth, as depicted in
Fig. 8. The main difference is that the Brazilian PKI is isolated, with its
main CA being in fact available only as a Root CA, meaning that no cer-
ticates can be recognized without a proper user administration action
of installinga new Root CA public certicate (which may not be possible
due to wide level computer domain policies, for example).
In the rst year that CITIUS was operational (2009) more than
85% of the acts and proceedings were led electronically, totaling
more than 5 million acts and almost 2 million electronic notications
(Ministério da Justiça, 2010a,b). 51% of these processes were initiated
using CITIUS (Neves, 2009). With these impressive numbers it should
be safe to assume that this is a successful system. The reality shows
that this fact is not so clear to all stakeholders. The system has suf-
fered numerous critics and cheers. The strongest opposition came
from the ASJP (Associação Sindical dos Juízes Portugueses/Association
of Portuguese Judges) (Gabinete de Acompanhamento da Informatização
nos Tribunais (GAIT/ASJP), 2009). ASJP issued a survey to which about
13% of its associates answered, and the main conclusions from the survey
were as follows:
CITIUS interface is not accessible, i.e., it does not follow the heuristics
for accessibility and usability;
The system is slow, and ASJP pointed out the main cause is the old
equipment available;
Fig. 7. Portuguese PKI.
247J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
The judges' inability to understand the current digital paradigm used
for handling processes in the system hamper their productivity.
In absolute contrast with the ASJP's critics, lawyers praised these
reforms, pointing that CITIUS (Neves, 2009):
May provide a better service to their constituents;
Decreases costs of the proceedings;
Decreases costs to their constituents, since lawyers do not need
to go to court to le or deliver documents, due to the electronic
Increases transparency between all agents.
2.4.3. Results and lessons learned
Portuguese Justice Information System's panorama is changing.
From the support of e-mail as an ofcial vehicle for case les, to the
creation of an information system to manage the law cases, Portuguese
authorities are trying to keep up with the times. Currently, CITIUS and
SITAF are being upgraded, and a new system is being designed to
replace Habilus.
The supporting system's infrastructure is also being redesigned,
moving from the scattered servers' solution to a centralized solution,
accessible using a VPN. The VPN solution is expected to enable the
Justice system's users more freedom and possibilities in terms of
working location (ofce, home, traveling, ).
As with Singapore, Portugal started with simpler experiences to
solve smaller problems (e-mail integration and Habilus) and evolved
to systems capable of handling entire cases (SITAF, CITIUS and AGIP).
This evolution, accumulated experience and user's critics are seen as
the breeding grounds for new features.
3. Comparative analysis between case studies
This section presents a comparison between the previously presented
information systems.
Table 1 summarizes the relevant dates (when available) to the
development time, the development team composition and whether
the information system is still being in use today.
Singapore and Portugal implemented a phased coverage of the
different areas of Justice. Both countries started with civil process
and moved on to criminal process.
In terms of development and sustainability models, there was a mix-
ture of in house, outsourcing and mixed (in-house and outsourcing)
In Portugal, the chosen approach was the in-house development
for the information systems, because the Portuguese state created
an institute with the staff having the technical skills required for
various tasks (software and communications).
Belgium chose the opposite approach, outsourcing the Phenix
e-justice information system.
In Brazil and Singapore we found a mixed approach but for different
reasons. In Brazil, the rst approach gave each State the freedom to
choose between in-house development or outsource development of
the information system. However, considering the results of such free-
dom (most of the systems cannot communicate and exchange data
with each other), the new e-justice information system is being devel-
oped in-house. In Singapore until 1996 the e-justice information system
was developed in-house, but in most recent developments, the national
authorities choose to outsource as a way to promote the country's eco-
nomic growth.
Most of the presented information systems are still being used. The
exceptions worth mentioning are the Phenix project and Brazil's
scattered systems (anapproach that led to a wide variety of information
systems), without data interexchange or communication between dif-
ferent information systems, decreasing the efciency and increasing
the costs. Table 2 summarizes the system's access type, architecture
and its ofine data processing ability. The developing technologies
were not taken into consideration because that decision has no reec-
tion on the architectural features.
Analyzing the data from Table 2 jointly with the developing time
from Table 1, it is clear the paradigm shifts from desktop applications
to web applications. This may have occurred both due to the evolution
of the communication network, providing faster and more reliable com-
munications, and due to the emergent web-based technologies. This
paradigm shift is only observed in countries that started developing
e-justice information systems in the earlier 90's, like Singapore or
Fig. 8. Portugal's CA conceptual architecture.
248 J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
Portugal. In countries that started later, like Belgium or Brazil, the initial
decision was immediately the web-based approach. This tendency is
aligned with Fabri's ndings. In Fabri (2007), the author describes this
tendency within the case studies that he analyzed.
Focusing in Table 2 on the systems' architecture column it is pos-
sible to verify that Portugal's information systems were designed
based on different architectures. SITAF, for instance, is a distributed
system, deployed with an installation in each administrative and s-
cal court. This approach leads to smaller data repositories, but higher
data interexchange between repositories. CITIUS information system
follows the same approach: a distributed architecture with an instal-
lation for each court.
This type of architecture leads to a huge amount of scattered
servers, since every court will require several servers (at least two,
for redundancy) and a huge workload to update all the servers each
time a system update is required. On the other hand, this architecture
relies on a small need for interconnection among the courts. That
means that a court can work normally even if the interconnection
fails. The overall computational load on each server is very low.
All the recent information systems are centralized. This paradigm
shift is once again associated with the factors mentioned in the previous
analysis: both due to the evolution of the communication network, pro-
viding faster and more reliable communications and due to the hard-
ware virtualization.
CITIUS Plus is a centralized system but with the possibility to work
ofine, providing leverage when the communication network fails.
This feature increases the trust that users have in the information sys-
tem, since they are assured of not losing the inserted data in case of a
network failure.
4. On the modeling of e-government systems
In the e-government panorama, but still closely related to laws,
there are also some relevant initiatives.
As an example, Austria developed a workow management sys-
tem for law management called eLaw. The base of the eLaw project
was to provide access and help stakeholders during the denition or
changes in the country's laws. With this system all stakeholders
have access to the law under review, to all revisions and to their prop-
ositions in appropriate time, without conicts in the responsibilities
level, based on the concept of SoD (Separation of Duties) (Schaad,
Spadone, & Weichsel, 2005). The SoD is a role-based access model,
and these roles can be provided at a network level or at an operating
system level or at the information system level.
With this information system, they prevent situations like (1) a
single stakeholder completing all the steps necessary to create/change
a law; (2) avoiding conicts of interest, where a stakeholder submits
a law review and has simultaneously the power to revoke/accept
it; and (3) minimizing the confrontation risk between stakeholders,
related with their responsibilities and competencies, avoiding public
According to Schaad et al. (2005),themainbenets of this
system are:
1 Increased visibility and transparency to the society, having more
public information about the laws;
2 Decreased errors in law drafts, increasing the efciency;
3 Decreased corruption, avoiding situations like (1) and (2);
Similar to Austria's initiative, Bungeni (Kiswahili word for inside
Parliament) is an initiative of UNDESA (United Nations Department of
Economic and Social Affairs) (UN DESA, 2012) that enables the
virtualization of parliament procedures. It shares the same benets of
the eLaw project, and at the time of this paper's writing, it will soon be
available for test pilots.
BungeniisanopensourceParliamentary and Legislative Information
System, that aims at making Parliaments more open and accessible
to citizens(Bungeni, 2012). Its target are the African and the Latin
American National Parliaments, in order to provide a digital solu-
tion for drafting, managing, consolidating and publishing legislative
and parliament documents. The information system is based on a
workow management system, storing information using formats
from open standards in XML and supported by a legal ontology.
As Ashok Hariharan presents (Hariharan, 2012), Bungeni is oriented
to the user, with a user friendly text processor, although it is web based.
Document's semantic meaning is implicit and added without user inter-
vention. This tool can be modied to t the specic needs of a national
At semantic level Bungeni uses the Akoma Ntoso ontology (Akoma
Ntoso, 2012), a simple technology-neutral electronic representations
(in XML format) of parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents.
The Akoma Ntoso provides the ontology to promote the data
interexchange between different providers, with the need to de-
velop different data readers.
UNDESA is not the only organization working on legal standards.
In fact, the Africa i-Parliaments Action Plan (Africa i-Parliaments, 2012)
is member of a broader network, the LegalXML (OASIS, 2008), a working
group focused on electronic ling of court documents. Also, since 2002
the LegalXML Group joined the OASIS consortium, which resulted in
the OASIS LegalXML Group. The OASIS LegalXML group produces several
open standards in some legal elds, like court ling, notary or legislative.
5. The Cape Verde experience
SIPP's design started in 2008 and the system was ready to be used
by 2011. Following the actual tendencies in the development of
e-justice information systems, its architecture is centralized and the
Table 1
Developing comparative analysis.
Country Information
Development Still
Start End
Singapore ATOMS 1993 1999 In house and outsource Yes
Desktop app 1993 1999 In house and outsource No
EFS 1999 Outsource Yes
ICJS 2002 Outsource Yes
Brazil State IS 2010 In house and outsource No
Country IS 2010 In house Yes
Belgium Phenix 2001 2007 Outsource No
Portugal Habilus ––In house Yes
SITAF 2004 In house Yes
CITIUS 2005 2008 In house Yes
CITIUS Plus 2010 In house No
SITAF 2.0 2011 In house No
AGIC 2011 In house No
Table 2
Features comparative analysis.
Country Information
Architecture Ofine
Singapore ATOMS Desktop Centralized No Yes
Desktop app Desktop ––No
EFS Web ––Yes
ICJS Web ––Yes
Brazil State IS Web Centralized No
Country IS Web Centralized Yes
Belgium Phenix Web ––No
Portugal Habilus Desktop No Yes
SITAF Web Distributed No Yes
CITIUS Web Distributed No Yes
CITIUS Plus Web Centralized Yes No
SITAF 2.0 Web ––No
AGIC Web Centralized No
249J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
system's interface is web based. The information system is composed
of two separate applications: the Workow Service and the Web
Application, as depicted in Fig. 9.
The workow service is responsible for handling all the workow
related tasks, triggering and managing cross-workow events. The
main advantage of separating the business logic in workowsisthe
possibility of supporting simultaneously different workows for the
same process typology. This is important because when there is a legis-
lative amendment, the new legal proceedings are initiated under the
law but the legal proceedings that have not been completed or already
led maintain the procedure in force at the time of its development.
One of the features supported by the workow service is the abil-
ity of versioning documents. Document versioning enables users to
safely work on their documents online, saving changes and rolling
back versions as needed. This feature tries to leverage between this
e-justice information system and the traditional way to work with a
case le, allowing the user to work on a given document online, just
as if he was working on his regular document processing editor.
In this case due to necessary care with the contents of the undisclosed
document, the document is written and stored centrally in a secure
way. With this approach the user has a tool that: (1) supports multi-
ple versions of the same document; (2) does not require local storage,
avoiding problems like document/computer theft or hardware failure
and allowing the user to handle the document in different places but
always maintaining the same safety criteria; and (3) has a secure
mechanism that allows only the user to read and write on the work-
ing document.
SIPP applies a SoD policy, based on application roles. This feature
is crucial to information system acceptance by the stakeholders and
to increase the trust between users and the e-justice information sys-
tem. This security enforcement allows the system to recognize the
user role and actual permissions within a given case process and pro-
vides access to the process information only on the occasions fore-
seen on the Process Code.
Cape Verde being an archipelago, every island has to produce
the electricity it needs. Unfortunately, electrical outages are fre-
quent either by technical problems in electrical generation plants, or
undersizing of the capacity of power plants, or simply lack of diesel
to put the generators into operation. This is a liability to SIPP, because
it can produce a service disruption, total or partial (depending on the
outage location).
Cape Verde has a country wide governmental network that can
be used in public facilities like schools, hospitals, courts, etc. The
governmental network at the start of SIPP's project is depicted in
Fig. 10. The two main cities are Praia, the capital on the Santiago
Island, and Mindelo on S. Vicente Island and the connections among
them are primordial. The 3rd most important island is Sal where the
local economy is based on tourism. As illustrated, in the most remote
islands and areas, this network has a very low connection speed.
In the cases where the governmental network is not available or
does not meet the desired connection speeds, us ers may contract pri-
vate broadband DSL internet services, with download speeds of up to
In 2011, the Cape Verde authorities started a project to upgrade the
governmental network to the latest broadband technology, linking all
the islands in the country.
To secure data, we adopted the use of a PKI for the SIPP system.
This PKI is based on a worldwide renowned Root CA, and the SIPP
help desk team manages the issuing and revoking of certicates.
Based on this PKI, users can sign nal document versions and can en-
crypt and decrypt SIPP's working versions of documents, providing a
bigger sense of security to the overall system.
SIPP has been in testing phase since June 2010, and will be put in
production during 2012 in a denitive way as soon as the national par-
liament approves a legislative amendment that allows the processing
and completion of legal proceedings electronically. The prototype's ini-
tial testing phase began in parallel with training the end users of the
system: judges, prosecutors and judicial staff. The training was pre-
pared with two distinct modules: (a) training of general ICT skills, and
(b) specic training for each of the users of the system at his place of
work and focusing on their specic needs. During the rst training
phase, the Justice agents received training in general ICT skills, like the
use of productive tools, such as text processor or spreadsheet, e-mail,
internet and document scanning. These general skills are the basics in
using the SIPP information system, because the system is web based,
with text processor features. The second phase of training plan was
over SIPP. In this phase we use on-job assisted training, as discussed
in Teixeira and Pinto (2012) so that the users could better understand
how to accomplish several goals based on their courthouse roles. With
this approach the users can practice with the new tool, and we can
tune the information system, its interface and overall information pro-
cessing, to better t the real users' needs.
6. Risk factors
Justice systems work based on well-established procedures, carried
out by Justice related staff. These activities can be automated, standard-
ized and computerized.E-justice information systemscan help and ease
the fulllment of some of these tasks. However, as with all information
systems, there are risk factors associated. In a so sensible area, like
Justice, where people's future may be decided, the risk factors must be
well known and considered.
Jaeger and Thompson (2003) present some risk factors in
e-government information systems. They present challenges like:
1. providing reliable electricity and telecommunications networks;
2. issues related to language and communication;
3. good coordination between local, regional and national e-government
4. the development of methods and performance indicators to assess
the quality of e-services provided;
5. ensure the quality and utility of e-services provided;
6. the education of the general population for the benets of use
e-government services;
7. preventing the e-government from lessening responsiveness and
responsibility of government ofcials.
Fig. 9. SIPP's overall architecture.
250 J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
Since e-justice information systemsare a subset of thee-government
information systems, they can be analyzed under the same issues.
Kuk's study (Kuk, 2003) concluded that the quality of e-services
decreased due to poor or lack of internet access. Slow communication
networks present a liability, because e-justice systems need to ex-
change high amounts of data, as ofcial acts and documents with
hundreds or thousands of pages, multimedia archives, like pictures
of a crime scene, or live feeds from one court to another during trials,
are some examples that can illustrate the added trafc over such net-
work (Jaeger & Thompson, 2003; Kuk, 2003). As exposed in Section 2,
governments of countries pointed as a key feature a good communi-
cation network. In a country like Singapore, it is easier to upgrade
the communication network, because of the country's geography,
and since it has one of the biggest GDP in the world. In a bigger coun-
try like Brazil, they adopted a strategy to upgrade the communica-
tions network between state capitals to 2 Gbps links and to ensure
links between central courts and small claims courts in each state.
In an archipelago like Cape Verde, the upgrade of the communications
infrastructure is more complex than in continental countries. Each
island must be considered separately and then it is necessary to
plan an adequate inter-island infrastructure. For communicating
within each island a type of WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability
for Microwave Access) infrastructure is being designed. Due to the
curvature of the earth, it is impossible to establish radio links be-
tween the groups of islands in the North (S. Vicente, S. Antão and
S. Nicolau) and in the South (Santiago, Maio, Fogo and Brava) nor
Northeast (Sal and Boavista), so any update on the infrastructure
will have to go through the placement of a set of physical paths
between the groups of islands. According to current standards, this
connection can be made into ber optics or via a satellite link. The
ber optic link provides faster and cheaper communications than
the satellite link and this is therefore used only as a backup system.
Unfortunately the optical ber path is often cut off by shing boats
nets leaving the communication between the islands dependent on
satellite links.
Accurate planning of the design, development and maintenance
stages of information systems presents a second risk factor, especially
when working on a system that is designed to operate on a 24/7 basis.
Also, when planning a substitution of legacy systems, or when new
systems have to interact with such systems, the design team has to
make a good evaluation of what the institution really needs. If the
design and development teams do not take into consideration the
changes occurred in the lapse of time between the original design
and the upgrade, like the changes in the users' needs and the arrival
of new technologies better tted for a given task, this migration
process will continue to develop over legacy software, possibly accu-
mulating old mistakes. On the other hand, when dealing with the
evolution of legacy systems, special care must be taken to understand
and validate not only the previously business model rules, but also
the new implementation of such rules. The same principle applies
to the system's architecture: the evolution of a given system may or
may not require a change in the application's architecture, depending
on the users' and applications' needs. In Singapore, they evolved from
desktop applications to web-based information systems because the
justice system needed an information system with this architecture,
with new technology. To mitigate this risk, SIPP has a modular archi-
tecture, as shown in Fig. 9. This modularity, with clear distinction of
presentation layer, business layer and process handling workow
layer, enables each layer to evolve accordingly to its needs. Given
the constant evolution of the law, the workows that regulate each
process type may need to be changed. When such changes occur,
depending of the type of change, there may be the need to simulta-
neously support the old process procedure regulations (for active
processes) and the new process procedure regulations (for newly
created processes). In other cases, the changes must be implemented
in all the active workow processes. The independence of the workow
layer enables us to make the necessary changes without affecting the
other layers. During SIPP's development, there was a major change in
the Criminal Code. One of the changes wasa different way of calculating
the proceedings costs of a given process. In terms of design and
Fig. 10. Governmental network (circa 2008).
251J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
development, this meant that there were several active rules or
workows for calculating costs, depending on parameters such as the
ling date of the process.
The continuous development of new information systems poses
another risk factor. If not properly conducted, it can create information
systems islands and system fragmentation, with nodata interexchange,
which is vital in the Justice area. This situation occurred in Brazil, where
they developed a national information system, but allowed the exis-
tence of custom information systems at the court level.
Still on the new information systems development subject, it
is necessary to account for the interoperability within the country's
e-government systems. Systems may require access to citizen's in-
formation, such as personal data, scal data or criminal record. This
information must not be concentrated in one huge information sys-
tem, but in smaller, dedicated information systems, with interfaces
for authorized systems to query information. When systems are not
capable of exchanging information with others, data and develop-
ment efforts are doubled, making this a huge implementation risk,
as stated by Fabri (2007).
There is also a risk that derives directly from enabling information
exchange among systems: data condentiality. With all our data avail-
able for query by other systems, what are the guarantees offered to
the citizens, in terms of data protection? To minimize the exposure to
such risk, and in the event of database attacks, we decided that it
would be best to make data anonymous, by using local identiers as a
mere reference to the original information. This way, whenever we re-
quire the original citizen's information, our system will use the local
identier to request it to its original system holder. Since the identiers
(local and remote) differ, the attacker's will not have a direct, ease to
link path among databases. This data protection mechanism increments
the bandwidth consumption, but guarantees up to date information
concerning the citizen.
In terms of system development and project leadership, conicts
among stakeholders may arise due to:
the lack of knowledge on organized development efforts that try to
answer the problems for different stakeholders, misleading a group
of stakeholders to embrace an unnecessary second development
the lack of perspectives on the development of an information
system for all stakeholders, a group of stakeholders embrace an
independent development of an information system to help solv-
ing their problems.
This situation happened in Portugal, where the ASJP tried to im-
pose an information system to the courts Tribunal XXI (Abrantes,
2005; Microsoft, 2005), without discussing the project with authori-
ties and other stakeholders involved in the Justice. At the same time
that the ASJP announced the Tribunal XXI, national authorities were
planning and designing CITIUS that was soon released. CITIUS had
a broader range in features and addressed more stakeholders, so
ASJP's project was dropped. The abandoning of the ASJP project gen-
erated a considerable amount of users strongly against CITIUS, mainly
from within members of that association.
Despite the inclusion of the end users' representatives in the pro-
duction process being considered as a positive approach, if their inu-
ence in the process is overwhelming, then that is not so positive. This
was reported by Langbroek and Tjaden (2009), concerning a Dutch
project failure. The Dutchmen tried to develop a separated workow
management system for the appeals from the rst instance court to
the appeal courts, but it was called a failure in 2001 and had a cost
of 13 million euros. The very same case is referred by Fabri (2007),
where he points the lack of communication among the stakeholders
as a possible reason for project failure in development or implemen-
tation phases.
Given such experience, and considering the overall benets of hav-
ing experienced stakeholders on the design team, the SIPP's design
team included representatives of judges, prosecutors and secretary
staff, among others. With these members in the design team, the devel-
opment team had more input and feedback from the users, and was
able to develop and tune a prototype more accurate and closer to the
users' perspectives. This prototype was then used in the meetings
between the members of the design team, as a follow up and demon-
stration of the concepts already specied. This approach favored the
discussion between peers with different visions about the necessary
steps and data to fulll a given task using the prototype. Using the
stakeholder's visions on how to fulll such task, the software architects
were able to propose working approaches and operation steps with
which all stakeholders would feel comfortable. Besides the practical ad-
vantages of such heterogeneous design team, the involvement of these
stakeholders since the beginning enables them to see their ideas being
implemented. This produces, more than a responsibility for what is
implemented, an ownership (almost paternity like) feeling towards
the system: With such feeling, the involved stakeholders would be ex-
cited and compelled to spread the word to their colleagues and defend
the system's benets from potential critics. This evangelism tends to
provide better acceptance results than the mere imposition by ranks
or by foreign agents. In SIPP, one of the follow-throughs of this feeling
is the writing, by secretary members of the specialist group, of an anno-
tated version of the Code of Process Cost. These members have been of
invaluable help to accurately calculate all the different cost variations
around the proceedings costs. With this task, they were even able to
nd inaccuracies on traditional calculation boards. Given their experi-
ence and insurance by SIPP's calculation engine, they have embraced
the challenge of producing a book about the calculation of a process
costs, according to the new Code. This annotated Code of Process Cost
will explain the new rules and use SIPP's calculation engine and user
interface to provide graphical examples. Similar challenges have been
launched to the judges and prosecutors members of the specialists
From the user's point of view, the applications should adapt to
the users and not the other way around. Poorly assembled UIs (User
Interfaces) that do not follow accessibility and usability heuristics
can be a nightmare to work with. The way data are organized and
displayed is also an important factor. If the digital metaphor for pro-
cess and document navigation is confused with mixed legal terms
and wrong taxonomy, users can waste time, decreasing efciency
and productivity. These issues combined with traditional backlog
problems can drag even more the process procedures. In our experi-
ence, and based on the previous issue, SIPP's prototype covers this
risk. During the design meetings, the different inputs from the stake-
holders allowed to tune the UI. This methodology ensured a better
user experience to handle the different tasks involved in the system.
The testing phase consolidated the prototype, and the number of
potentials issues with SIPP decreased with the increase of the tests'
Interface and information presentation considerations may be ex-
tended to the printed versions of electronically submitted data. In this
case, this information may be presented in a standardized way, re-
gardless of its point of origin. In an effort to standardize documents
in SIPP, the specialists participating in the design meetings proposed
new document layouts and information templates to be used in the
system. These layouts and templates were implemented, presented
to the test users and rened to better suite everyone's perception of
the information necessary within each document type. One of the
most disruptive layouts presented was in fact the most applauded:
the process cover. Traditionally, for each process phase the process
would gaina need cover, that would be placed on top of the others.
With a digital process, there is no need to replace covers. The new
printed cover will contain the new information. On top of the tradi-
tional information already existing on paper, we added a new concept
to the cover: a general process activity overview, with indication of
dates and actions carried out. This way anyone holding a physical
252 J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
copy of a process within SIPP can have a general idea of what has
been going on in the process, without having to open it.
As referred, these information systems must work 24 h per day,
7 days per week. Thus, the infrastructure must be exible, redundant
and capable of recovery in case of disaster. Plans to recover in case of
disaster must be taken, especially if there is the need to invest on
building datacenters or buying more equipment for them. These deci-
sions should consider the datacenter's nature and its goals. Questions
about the location, the surrounding geography or geology and the
likelihood of natural disasters should be analyzed carefully and fairly
evaluated, since the data in these datacenters is vital. Another impor-
tant decision is the amount of data that managers are aware that may
be lost in the event of a disaster that might occur between backup
operations. The answer to these questions should help on planning
backup and restore solutions. In the Belgium case study, one reason
pointed by the technical team as a major challenge was the cata-
strophic recovery scenario, and maybe for that unsolved reason the
government stopped the project.
Good practice manuals refer that a secondary server, geographi-
cally distant from the main site, should be implemented to handle
catastrophic situations where the main site is unavailable. Regular
backups should also be transferred for this site. The computing re-
sources on the secondary site may be more modest than the primary
site. This site should activate itself, using the latest backups available,
upon detecting the failure on the primary site. For SIPP we have
implemented a secondary site on a different island. Regular database
backups are transferred for the site.
Not only the communication network is a concern, but also
the electrical network is important. These infrastructure networks
need to be consistent and reliable. Electrical power is something
that western citizens take almost for granted. However, in African
developing countries, on islands with no rivers to build hydroelectric
dams on and with wind and solar generators still scarce, the popula-
tion is almost entirely supplied by diesel run public powerhouses. In
Cape Verde, it is common to be without any electrical power for
more than 24 h. In this case, the preventive measure was to ensure
that the datacenter would have a backup generator, capable of run-
ning uninterruptedly for long periods. However, this measure covers
only the datacenter. If a courthouse is without electricity, it will be
unable to access SIPP. To solve this issue, the Cape Verde authorities
have a project sponsored by the World Bank to upgrade the national
electrical network, reducing the waste of energy and water, and re-
ducing the oil dependency (Radiotelevisão Caboverdiana, 2012).
Data handling is a big issue on e-justice systems. As exposed in the
case studies, all countries have concerns with their system's data secu-
rity, integrity and condentiality. These concerns target not only the
datacenter and network security, by using rewalls, VPNs, and control-
ling the physical and virtual accesses, but they also target data and doc-
uments integrity. To ensure the user's identity, most case studies rely on
a PKI. By using a PKI, data and documents can be digitally signed and
veried, ensuring non-repudiation, integrity and authentication. This
is vital because these data and documents have legal validity, and
these decisions have impact on society. In this paper we analyzed two
different PKI approaches. Singapore relies on a commercial PKI to
issue certicate valid for the justice system, and Portugal and Brazil
use the existent national PKI. The second approach has more risks,
with protestors arguing that such PKI is a government initiative, and
that in democracy the Justice and Government are separated. This con-
ict arose in Brazil, where theNational Bar Associationtried to stop the
use of the national PKI. When using a PKI, documents and data can be
ciphered/deciphered, increasing security. In Belgium they did not use
this approach. In fact, they did not use any approach and pointed this
as a problem to be solved. The lack of solution for such problem poses
a huge security risk, which, along with the remaining threats found,
put the Phenix's development to a halt. As with Singapore, SIPP relies
on a commercial PKI to issue its certicates.
In the Justice system, Justice agents have different duties, and each
duty has different requirements and needs. For example, a judge
makes decisions and a court ofcer executes them. Based on that,
e-justice systems have risks related to the execution of duties or ac-
tions and related to the permission of performing a task, or accessing
a certain feature. To increase the trust in e-justice systems, these usu-
ally implement a SoD that works properly and ensures that the tasks
and features available to the user at a given time are just the ones that
he may execute. Similar to the Austrian eLaw system, SIPP imple-
ments a SoD based on application roles, separating the different
duties related to the same process procedure type, and regulating
the access to the different features when handling a process. The
SoD concept is applied independently on the interface layer and on
the data layer, with the user's identication being required when
accessing the data layer. This way, the internal logical services can
crosscheck if the given user is in fact entitled to perform the desired
The introduction of IT in the justice system must also be consid-
ered as a risk factor. The simple usage of an information system to
support regular operations must be legislated. These law changes
are vital for the daily use of e-justice information systems, since the
decisions made using them will have the same legal value of the
paper based decisions. All of the case studies presented changed
their laws to support the use of an information system to process
procedures electronically. Currently, Cape Verdean authorities are
preparing the necessary changes to the Law to introduce SIPP as a
legally valid system to handle case les.
As with any fairly complex information systems development, for
developing an e-justice system it is crucial to have a good and solid
multidisciplinary team. Given its specicities, more than an overall
picture of the system, the IT design team must have the ability to
integrate and understand the inherent justice concepts. To better
support the system's design, this team must integrate the representa-
tives of as much justice stakeholders as possible, in an effort to cover
the different points of view of what the system should/will be. It is
important to have the fragmented vision from judges, prosecutors,
lawyers and court ofcers, because they will use the system on a daily
basis. Having these stakeholders in the developing team can help to
understand each stakeholder's individual needs and to clarify the
borderline interactions, avoiding future misunderstandings.
The type of the development (in-house or outsourced) can inu-
ence the information system's maintainability. This is a risk factor to
consider, since it inuences the long term support of any information
system (from regular maintenance operations to the development of
new features or bug corrections). In Portugal the several information
systems were developed in-house, with the maintainability and the
long term support ensured by the hired teams. In Singapore there
was a shift from in-house development to outsourcing, with the
outsourcing company resulting from a spin-off from the in-house de-
velopment, so the information system knowledge necessary to sup-
port and maintain the system was therefore ensured.
The SIPP's project managers' initial idea was to followthe Singapore's
development model, where a spin-off holding the knowledge of the
development of the system would be created to support it. However,
unlike Singapore, the initial development team was composed of two
universities, Cape Verde University and Aveiro University. The reason
to include two universities was twofold: the SIPP's development and
the national knowledge capacity of the Cape Verde University. The
Cape Verde University was at the time on its year one, and was strug-
gling to nd people with technical and academic background capable
of teaching new classes. This struggle had impact on satellite projects
where the Cape Verde University should be involved, such as the SIPP's
development, because it was unable to hire additional staff to be exclu-
sively dedicated to this project. Given this reality, the responsibility over
the project's development lied solely on the University of Aveiro. This
change had impact on the initial expectations regarding the system's
253J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
support: the spin-off should result from local knowledge acquired during
the development of the system; and at this point, such knowledge can
only be found within the University of Aveiro, in Portugal. Considering
that the development is being made by a university, whose goal is to
teach and research (and not to provide support) and that the creation
of a spin-off to provide support overseas may not be feasible, the long
term support to the system is still not guaranteed. This is an open issue
that needs to be addressed by the system's managers as soon as possible.
Another associated risk factor is the IT skills from justice agents.
These skills can be classied in two different aspects: (1) general ICT
skills and (2) specic e-justice information system skills. A user lacks
general ICT skills when hestruggles on tasks like working with produc-
tivity tools, such as a text processor or spreadsheet, understanding how
to use an e-mail client or on how to take advantage of search engines
and internet websites. The specic information system skills relate to
the understanding of thedigital metaphor usedto mimic the traditional
process handling and to the grasp of the system's features. To avoid and
minimize this risk, measures may be taken to help users to better use the
system. This may be accomplished with end user training. Considering
the end-user training methods review made by Gupta and Bostrom
(2006), the planning of a training session must have in mind the
targeted system or software. Given the requirements in general ICT
knowledge and in system specic knowledge, training efforts should
be divided in two distinct areas: a training plan to provide general ICT
skills and a second training plan on the use of the information system.
These plans should be incremental, and the success of the user's training
measured in terms of learning outcomes. Depending on such outcomes,
users may start the second training phase, or repeat (entirely or partially)
the rst training phase.
The second training phase in SIPP involved the understanding of
the visual representation of processes' information and how to ac-
complish the required tasks. This phase is an ongoing process that
tries to closely follow the development of the prototype system and
enables us, as developers, to take action and rapidly adapt the inter-
faces upon user's feedback.
With the use of digital technologies, is easier to ignore parts of an
e-mail or other digital document, not intentionally, but inadvertently
(Jaeger & Thompson, 2003). This risk can compromise the public ser-
vice provided to the society by the Justice, simply because the Justice
agent is less responsive to citizens. Considering that in the digital
world user's desks are not clogged with stacks of paper, it may be
easy to miss important tasks. To minimize this liability, SIPP's inter-
face presents at all times the tasks under the user's responsibility.
Tasks are presented with a color code to better visualize its urgency.
Another risk related to information system's usage is relying in
the information system, avoiding taking responsibilities related to
their duties. Information systems are a tool to help with the work,
to accomplish their tasks, but they do not replace the human
intervention. Therefore, users involved with the information system
must be aware and educated to change their mindset to the digital
world, where the physical presence (of both people and case les)
component is suppressed, so that the service quality may be the
same (and preferably better) as if they were physically present.
Last but not least, the society needs to be aware of the benets
(Jaeger & Thompson, 2003) of the e-government initiative in general,
and of the e-justice in particular. If these information systems have
good quality, with features that are really needed, and with clear
benets in efciency, citizens are impelled to take advantage of
e-government information systems. This leads to a decrease in corrup-
tion, increasing the transparency between governments and society,
creating more stable governance conditions. The people of Cape Verde
spread over 9 islands (domestically) and have an estimated overseas
community bigger than the Cape Verde inhabitants. This high level of
community spread forced authorities to embrace technology enabled
solutions that could reduce the distance between government service
providers and citizens, making Cape Verde the 21st country (out of 53)
in the 2008 African e-Government ranking produced by Rorissa and
Demissie (2010). The United Nations' 2008 report (United Nations,
2008) places Cape Verde as the leader of the E-Government Readiness
for West Africa, which translates to the 6th place on the top ranked
countries in Africa and to the 104th place of the overall E-Government
Readiness Index 2008, indexed at 0.4158. More recently, the United
Nations E-Government Survey 2010 (United Nations, 2010) places
Cape Verde in the 6th position of the top ranked countries in Africa, mak-
ing the 108th place of the World E-Government Development Ranking
2010, indexed at 0.4054. In the same report, Cape Verde ranks 92nd
(of 189) on the Online Service Index and ranks 68th (of 157) on the
e-participation index. In the United Nations e-Government Survey
2012 (United Nations, 2012), Cape Verde kept both the 1st position on
the e-government development in Western Africa and the 6th place on
the top ranked countries in Africa, with the 118th position in the
World E-Government Development Ranking 2012, indexed at 0.4297.
and 23rd on the e-participation index. Cape Verde's evolution in terms
of overall index (from 0.4158 to 0.4297) and of specice-participation
index (from 68th to 23rd) shows that the population, despite all the
difculties, is eager to take part and to take full advantage of the benets
of e-government initiative.
7. Conclusion and future work
This paper presented several approaches to worldwide experi-
ences in the design, development and implementation of e-justice in-
formation systems. Upon evaluation of the case studies' outcome and
what was crucial for such outcome, we presented SIPP, the e-justice
system designed and implemented for the Cape Verde Justice.
Based on those experiences, we enumerated a set of risk factors
associated with the development and implementation of such sys-
tems. Despite the experiences being worldwide, in different countries
with different contexts, we demonstrated that they share the same
risks factors.
One of the major risk factors is the initial design phase and the
continuous development scrutiny. If the initial architecture is poorly
planned due to misinterpretations of the requirements, the entire
project may be at risk. Continuous scrutiny and presentation of work-
ing prototypes to the stakeholders will enable rapid corrections of
any misinterpretations. Also, these prototypes give stakeholders and
future users a preview of the overall system. With such preview, ini-
tial user expectations can be better understood and, if required, the
development and design teams can make rapid behavior and user
interface changes to better align with the users' point of view.
From the presented case studies, one of the least consistent
parameters evaluated is the development team type: in-house or
outsource. This lack of consistency is probably related with the
country's philosophy and historical background on similar initia-
tives. More than the development model, the subsequent mainte-
nance model adopted may also be of signicant impact in terms
of support and development of new features. As illustrated by the
case studies presented, both models may succeed or fail, depending
on factors as the overall information vision, leadership and technical
skills. SIPP's maintenance model is still to be determined, since appli-
cation maintenance support is not within the university's goals.
In e-justice systems, the knowledge gap between the design team
and the users may impair the entire system. To handle such liability,
the work performed by the design and development teams should
be followed closely by a party of the different types of users that
will use the system. During the development of SIPP, the design
team performed extensive meetings with a group of specialists of
the different areas: judges, prosecutors and secretary staff. To better
interface with the design team, the development team and this spe-
cialist group, we included a specialist with legal background from
University of Aveiro, that would act as a translatorfor complex
254 J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
legal questions (for the IT teams) and also as a translatorfor some
information system related aspects (for the specialist group).
The introduction of information systems as a tool to help in an
organization structure changes the organization itself. People in the
organization have to be aware of these changes. To avoid shocks
related to the use of new information systems, people should take
part in training sessions. The training sessions should cover two
aspects: general ICT skills and specic information system skills.
When the users' skills concerning general ICT reaches a given goal
level, users may advance for the next phase (Teixeira & Pinto,
2012). Specic information system training must provide users skills
on how to accomplish their day-to-day tasks using the system.
Considering that systems evolve and users tend to forget some of
the previously learnt abilities, the training plans should be refreshed
when needed.
To what concerns the network infrastructure, all case studies
pointed as a key feature a good and reliable communication infra-
structure. The increase of volume of data interexchange mandates a
reliable network infrastructure, mainly due to features such as
video conference and to the spread and mandatory use of e-justice
information systems. In Cape Verde they are upgrading the govern-
mental network to the latest technology in broadband network, cov-
ering almost all islands. With this investment, all islands may use the
e-justice information system without the need of using commercial
DSL connections, thus helping on lowering the operational costs of
the justice system.
After the design, development and implementation of SIPP, we
started the design and development of the continuation of Cape Verde's
e-justice information system. This new iteration will enable the digital
handing of civil matters, based on the Civil Process Code, and relying
on the framework developed for SIPP.
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João Rosa, MSc student in Masters in Information Systems.
Research interests: System modeling and architecture, workow based systems,
semantic web and e-government.
Cláudio Teixeira, Assistant researcher, PhD in Computer Science (2009); 5 year Degree
in Telematics and Computers Engineering (2003).
Research interests: Integration of information systems, value added services, system
modeling and architecture, XML based information systems, dynamically congured
web portals, cloud computing and e-government.
Joaquim Sousa Pinto, Assistant Professor, PhD in Electronics Engineering (1997); 5
year Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering (1985).
Research interests: Digital Libraries, Information Systems, Cloud Computing.
256 J. Rosa et al. / Government Information Quarterly 30 (2013) 241256
... Relevant literature showed that the justice sector is investing in the implantation of e-court systems to ensure transparency and enhance efficiency and effectiveness of court processes [6,8,15,[17][18][19]22,[24][25][26]28,29,32,37]. However, all the available research showed a marginal study. ...
... [15] outlined the transparency enhancement after implementing the electronic filing system. [26] considered that transparent justice is a key to democracy, as transparent court information systems allow accessibility of citizens to their data. In turn, this transparency in data and processes increases their trust in government and justice systems. ...
... Transparency is considered a core aspect of justice to ensure gaining citizen trust in court processes and decisions [20,26]. In this regard, respondents assured the importance of transparency for courts through various statements from Judges in different courts, saying: "Transparency will prevent corruption in judiciaries". ...
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Transparency is a crucial element in the judiciary to promote citizen confidence in courts and ensure fair case administration by court staff. Therefore, digital transformation of courts is becoming a mandatory step to increase transparency by providing a new opportunity for court data to be open, visible, and accessible to the citizen. Digital transformation of courts is initiated through digitizing court processes and implementing e-court systems to enhance transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness of court processes. The objective of this research is to explore the role of e-court systems in fostering transparency in justice administration by delving into the e-court system of the Sulaymaniyah Appellate Court in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) as a case study. The analysis was based on the mixed method of both quantitative and qualitative approaches, with a triangulation of multiple data sources including surveys, expert interviews, observations, and document analysis. The results show that implementing an e-court system enhances transparency in the court processes and results in a more efficient and effective court system with improved justice delivery to the public.Keywordse-CourtDigital transformationICTTransparencyKurdistan RegionIraq
... First of all, studies in the analyzed literature attribute importance in the design and initiation process. For example, Rosa et al. (2013) point out a finding that "the initial design phase and the continuous development scrutiny. If the initial architecture is poorly planned due to misinterpretations of the requirements, the entire project may be at risk" (p. ...
... It has crucial importance of analyzing how the organizational systems are set up and how they are organizationally and procedurally functioning, among others, before commencing to inject any additions into them. Similarly, Rosa et al. (2013) argue that "the introduction of information systems as a tool to help in an organization structure changes the organization itself. People in the organization have to be aware of these changes. ...
... We have observed a great number of risk and success factors. Rosa et al. (2013) argue that the question of how the development team of the e-justice system would be picked, in-house or outsourced, is decisive on the sustainability of the system. "More than the development model, the subsequent maintenance model adopted may also be of significant impact in terms of support and development of new features (Rosa et al., 2013, p. 254). ...
As governments are increasingly adopting digitalization reforms to improve public services, the justice domain is no exception. Although not as rapidly grown as the other e-governmentE-government initiatives, electronic justice or e-justiceElectronic justice (E-Justice) practices are developed and implemented to make justice services and their administration more open, accessible, effective, efficient, and less expensive for all actors. On the other hand, there are also specific challenges or risks involved in the digitalization of this area, such as the delicacy of the processes, legal restrictions, ensuring the independence of the judiciaryJudiciary, system design, and good user experience, and high interoperability. As a result of the relatively immature nature and the diversity of e-justice systems being used around the world, an integrated research framework outlining the specific areas and topics of research for e-justice and identifying future research directions is still lacking. In light of this gap, this chapter systematically reviews scholarly research on e-justice to present an integrated research framework. We identify 36 key research publications related to e-justiceE-Justice employing Web of Science and Google Scholar and review them to highlight what we know and do not know about e-justice. The study reveals four broad areas of foci about e-justice research in general: Identification of success and risk factors, assessment of the impact of e-justice implementation, examination of e-justice user satisfaction and experiences, and evaluation of judicial websites. For each of the research areas outlined, theoretical foundations, specific research aims, and main findings, and suggested directions for future research are summarized. A future research agendaResearch Agenda informed by the results of the review is proposed.
... Austria introduced an e-filing system to digitize case management workflow and eLaw to allow citizens to access laws online. Furthermore, they implemented Electronic Legal Communication (ELC) system for data exchange and court users [17,78,68]. Belgium ...
... Courts in Singapore adopted an advanced e-court system to enhance the efficiency of case processing and implemented Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) with a video conferencing feature to allow citizens to participate in trial sessions remotely. furthermore, they introduced the Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS) and TICKS 2000 for better case management processes [68,17]. Slovenia They introduced several databases for different registries and created a portal for online access to legal information [17]. ...
... Singapur, en 1991 lanzó el proyecto ATOMS que consistió en kioscos para pago de multas que tenían la característica de permitir a la ciudadanía poder declararse culpable para delitos de tipo civil. Para Brasil, en 2014 se diseñó un proyecto con requerimientos como: proveer de equipo de cómputo a todas las cortes y desarrollar un sistema que unificara el sistema de justicia (Rosa, et al., 2013). Bélgica por su parte, tenía el problema de letargo y retraso en los juicios que llegaban a durar hasta nueve años, el primer paso fue equipar con computadoras las cortes e incluso laptops para todos los jueces. ...
... The initial design phase and the continuous development scrutiny were listed as the critical issues. However, whether in-house or outsourced, the development team may succeed considering overall information vision, leadership, and technical skills (Rosa et al. 2013). ...
Conference Paper
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Justice is a pillar of the democratic rule of law. However, there are few studies in the administration of justice. This research addresses the topic of e-Justice and aims to make an exploratory study to identify the factors that favour its successful adoption. Based on eight case studies found in the literature, the success factors are classified using the Gil-García and Pardo (2005) e-Government theoretical foundations. The results point to the prevalence of information technology and the organisational and managerial challenges. Another conclusion is the need to develop theoretical frameworks that conform to the specificities of e-Justice success adoption.
... According to Contini (2020), most of the studies on e-justice, take a functional paradigm seeing technology as a tool or instrumental to acheieve "better justice". A recent literature review on ejustice (Yavuz et al., 2022), identified four areas of research: success and risk factors for implementation (i.e., Rosa et al., 2013), assessment and evaluation of impact of digitalization in courts (i.e, Lupo, 2016), user experience and design principles, and judicial websites. ...
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The digitalization of justice is emerging worldwide, partially due to the most common narrative surrounding digital government being more efficient, cost-effective, and democratic. In recent times, the global pandemic has pushed forward many digitalization efforts waiting to be implemented. The complexity, normative thickness, and heavy regulative status of justice systems, demands addressing the role played by digital technologies in reshaping judicial practices from a legal, judicial, and digital perspective. In an in-depth case study of the Chilean courts’ implementation of technologies during Covid-19, we examined the digital government objectives and interrogated them in light of the concepts: digital by default, social media in courts, and restorative justice. This ongoing research paper presents findings derived from thirty (30) interviews with key stakeholders from the Chilean judiciary system in Santiago, advances our understanding of the intricate relationship between justice, digital technology, and government.
... The empirical analysis is based on the case-study approach because this method is shown to be the most effective way to study ICT phenomena in the broad area of justice (Fabri and Langbroek 2000;Contini and Fabri 2003;i Martínez and Fabra i Abat 2009;Contini and Lanzara 2014;Rosa et al. 2013;Velicogna 2007). In-depth case studies are the preferred strategy when dealing with "how", "who", or "in which way" questions. ...
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The smart city literature states that three levels of institutional layers (regulatory, normative, and cognitive) and four typologies of actors (government, universities, citizens, and the private sector) support private initiative for developing smart technologies. Focusing on the emergent phenomenon of smart apps ideated by lawyers’ private initiatives, this paper acknowledges that other factors, including the ubiquity of mobile technologies and the absence of effective public services provided by public institutions, contribute to the institutional and organizational humus necessary for the creation of intelligent technological proposals. In the light of the organizational theory framework, and based on the analysis of the literature on smart cities and e-justice and on the empirical investigation of two Italian lawyers’ apps (Collega and Anthea), this paper identifies the institutional, organizational, and technological conditions under which smart technologies are being developed in high-regulated public institutions’ contexts as justice systems. The findings of the study described in this paper help integrate the contribution of the literature on the topic.
This study adds to our knowledge of the elements that influence user involvement with e-court applications. The goal of this research is to find out what factors influence end-user preparedness on an e-court, the structural relationship between preparedness characteristics and e-court interoperability, and to create a readiness model based on e-court end-user readiness parameters for self-assessment of organizational adoption. Based on literature research, a qualitative approach was employed to determine the most critical variables of users’ interaction with the e-court application. The results revealed four factor categories. Human behavior, technology advancements, organizational structure, and legal issues. A case study technique might be used to provide a more complete explanation of the phenomenon, which would improve the study’s conclusions. A case study, for example, in a Malaysian e-Court, is proposed to explore the collected features and variables. This research can be applied to the private sector as well as other industries like as healthcare and banking.
This chapter examines the concept and legal regulation of digital platforms in justice systems in Germany, the European Union (EU), and Kyrgyzstan, as well as their impact on access to justice during the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital platforms for justice systems are becoming increasingly important. This study aims to examine in which cases legal regulation is required for the establishment and operation of the platforms and what significance regulation has using examples of digital platforms for justice in Germany, the EU, and Kyrgyzstan. The study provides recommendations on how to improve legal framework for digital platforms in justice system and lay foundation for supranational legal framework for digital justice platform in Eurasian Economic Union based on the European Unions’ experience.
Developing large-scale complex information systems, such as the Smart Court system-of-systems (SoSs) of China, is a worldwide engineering challenge. This paper, from a methodological perspective, aims to expound the theoretical construction and practical progress of Smart Court system-of-systems engineering (SoSE) of China. The concept and key task requirements of SoSE are explored, technical difficulties faced by the Smart Court SoSE are analyzed, and a “two-track parallel, six-ring linkage” pattern framework is proposed for the progressive collaboration SoSE of large-scale autonomous information systems. Based on the theories including a universal information model, information metric system, and dynamic configurations of information systems, a key evaluation indicator system for an information SoSs is proposed. To satisfy the SoSE design requirements, an overall design method based on information relationships and its enabling tool are proposed, and a reference model of the Smart Court SoSs is designed to provide a top-level reference for the system development and integration of the Smart Court. Moreover, the development and collaborative integration of the autonomous and backbone systems in the Smart Court SoSE are presented in a comprehensive manner. The nationwide application and promotion of the Smart Court SoSs support the upgrade and transformation of the conventional judicial operation pattern of people's courts in China. Through continuous analyses of the quality and effectiveness of the Smart Court based on the key evaluation indicators, targeted improvement can be conducted to further enhance the SoSs capabilities, thereby contributing to the progress of judicial civilization in the information age.
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Effective exchange of information in the criminal justice chain is crucial for effective law enforcement, but difficult to achieve. This article describes the case of the development and introduction of electronic data exchange in the Dutch Criminal Justice chain. Basic theories on the introduction of IT in justice organizations are tested by means of qualitative empirical research. Case flow management automation is technically feasible in the criminal justice chain but presupposes willingness of different organizations attached to that chain to adapt working processes for that purpose. The Dutch case shows a relative failure of the development and implementation of an integrated case flow management system for the entire chain (from the police via the public prosecutions office and the courts up to the prison service). It also shows a relative success of connecting xml-based data files to different reference indexes using intelligent agent software. Compared to the intended integrated case flow management system this solution for inter-organizational data exchange is much more simple and flexible because it does not demand a far reaching adaptation of internal organizational routines. It avoids the complexities of justice organizations and simplifies tasks related to data exchange. The data therefore are more accurate and are faster available. The most important advantage however is that risks of failure of development and implementation are reduced.
This article discusses how, after the 1990s, the problem of the relationship between Law courts and new communication and information technologies (NCIT) and especially that between courts and social communication, poses new issues to an analysis of relations between judiciary institutions and society. On the one hand, there emerges the State's capacity and will to regulate new technologies and new communication and information interests, as well as to incriminate and punish new socially harmful activities that became possible through those technologies; on the other hand, there is impact of the enormous expansion of new technologies and new informational and communicational interests within Law and its institutions, namely Law Courts. The article debates issues such as computerization of courts, new management techniques and their impacts on interprofessional relations, on a media-based justice, on the internal functionality of Courts, on rules and styles of professional action, as well as the impact of new information and communication technologies - and above all, of the media - on the relation between courts and a computerized and media-oriented society. It concludes by sustaining the need to explore the democratic potential of new technologies, the new possibilities of deliberative and participatory democracy, new forms of public control both over the State and over private production of public goods.
Technology has had a prevalent impact on nearly all social domains, one being the judicial system. Advancements such as computer-generated demonstrations and electronic filing can enhance presentations and give a clearer, well-organized case. E-Justice: Using Information Communication Technologies in the Court System presents the most relevant experiences and best practices concerning the use and impact of ICTs in the courtroom. This groundbreaking title draws upon the leading academic and practicing perspectives from around the globe to provide academics and professionals throughout the legal system with the most comprehensive overview of present developments in e-justice.
In most African countries, compared to any other part of the world, the use of information and communication technologies such as those necessary to provide e-Government services is minimal. The continent was once labeled a "technological desert." The contributing factors, among others, are lack of infrastructure, low literacy rates, low economic development, and a variety of cultural factors. Despite these obstacles, most African countries have made noticeable progress during the last couple of decades. Almost all African governments now have some presence on the Web, including fully fledged e-Government web portals, albeit in small numbers. However, the current status of e-Government services in African countries is not well documented in detail. We present results of a comprehensive analysis of 582 e-Government service websites with respect to the type of websites, the services and features available, as well as the level of development of e-Government services. We also compute e-Government indexes, produce e-Government rankings, and compare our rankings to previous ones. A clear picture that emerges from our analysis and results is that although progress has been made, there is a long way to go, to bridge not only the North–South divide when it comes to e-Government services but also among the various sub-regions. In addition, recommendations for future researchers regarding e-Government services in Africa are made. Published by Elsevier Inc.
This study examines the relationship between the quality of electronic service delivery (ESD) and the levels of Internet access across the 12 official regions of the United Kingdom. A random sample of 236 local government websites was assessed for the quality of ESD. The results indicate that in contrast to regions of high household Internet access, the quality of local government websites in regions of low household Internet access was significantly poorer in terms of information content and relatively limited in terms of the range of e-enabled services. The policy implications of the findings are discussed.