In January 2020 the ideas of virtual courts and online hearings were audacious, they no longer are. The challenges posed by COVID-19 spurred the judiciary to confront and overcome its resistance to radical changes. We’re now at the crossroads where the right technological injection along with reengineering of court processes can realise a future of democratised access to justice.
Draft Vision Document 2020
The vision document aims to build courts that are more inclusive and intuitive, through technology. It envisions building critical digital infrastructure to enable access to the judiciary.
Building courts that are more inclusive and intuitive, through technology
History of Digital Courts in India
If you’re new to Digital Courts, start here.
“Considering the pendency of a huge volume of cases, the proposed transparency in the digitisation of courts and establishing virtual courts is prudent.”
What we’re exploring
In April 2021 the eCommittee constituted by the Supreme Court of India released the Draft Vision & Roadmap for Phase III of the eCourts Project. This project essentially outlines the vision and the roadmap for implementation of the guidelines, proposed by the eCommittee, Supreme Court of India.
Phase III of the eCourts project envisions a system that promotes access, inclusion, equity and efficiency of courts, while providing a base for other government and non-government institutions to build solutions. The architecture of the digital platform needs to be unified such that it can optimise judicial capacity while also being able to leverage market innovation and capabilities to advance technological adoption. To build digital courts to be trustworthy, empathetic, sustainable and transparent the tools we use can include open APIs, a reusable and extensible modular architecture, open and interoperable source codes.
Download the Draft Vision Document
The drafting process of the Vision Document for Phase 3 of the e-courts project included consultations with 14 High Courts, technologists, data scientists, platform architects, administrative officials, and court CPCs and systems officers across the country. The vision document aims to build courts that are more inclusive and intuitive, through technology.
Civis partnered with the sub-committee of experts, of the drafting committee for the Vision Document, to carry out a robust public consultation on this vision document. The three organisations comprising the sub-committee include Agami, DAKSH and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
A Full History of Digital Courts
Public Consultation on the Draft Vision Document for Phase III of the eCourts Project
For the first time in Indian history, the Supreme Court e-Committee, under the leadership of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud opened up its draft Vision Document for digitisation of the courts for public consultations.
The document presents a radical new approach from Phase I & II. At the heart of which is the creation of an open digital infrastructure that allows for solutions to continuously emerge and evolve from the ecosystem: including private enterprises, PSU’s, tribunals, etc. In addition, it prescribes a platform architecture that will allow for the design and building of an open and collaborative digital infrastructure within which the judicial system ‘talks’ to other institutions such as the police, prisons and ADR institutions.
Further, the document describes key milestones to achieving these goals such as putting in place data and technology standards, specifications and protocols and open APIs along with strong monitoring and evaluation frameworks. With a view to solving the implementation deficit, the draft also discusses a comprehensive set of principles to handle the transition to new systems across technology, human resources, procurement and institutions. The draft also looks at how implementation can be sequentially executed and what monitoring and evaluation processes can be put in place to assess the adoption and impact of the platform.
Agami partnered with CIVIS to create a tool to source feedback on the draft Vision Document. Please click here to review a summary of the Vision Document in English or Hindi
Phase 3 and the Supreme Court E-Committee
In June 2020, Agami along with Daksh and Vidhi accepted the invitation to be part of the Supreme Court E-Committee as experts to envision and implement the digital courts initiative.
The drafting process of the Vision Document for Phase 3 of the e-courts project included consultations with 14 High Courts, technologists, data scientists, platform architects, administrative officials, and court CPCs and systems officers across the country.
In May 2020, through a collaborative effort we anchored with CLPG, CAM, NIPFP, CSJ, Daksh and Vidhi we offered a roadmap of how to realise the concept of digital courts to the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. We charted a path to digitisation, analysing the different roadblocks that may arise along the way and offered possible methods of overcoming them.