On June 16, 2022, INL’s Caribbean Anti-Crime Grant, implemented by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), convened its 1st Annual Caribbean Region Digital Court Recording (CRDCR) Meeting. The pre-conference meeting was held in coordination with the Annual American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It provided attendees with an opportunity to discuss their experiences and vision for Digital Court Recording in their respective jurisdictions, as well as discuss policies and procedures, provisioning, monitoring, and transcript production. A total of 28 judges, registrars, court reporters, administrative staff, and IT managers from The Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago were in attendance. Opening remarks were provided by President of AAERT, Janet Harris, and presentations were given by NCSC Digital Recording experts, Kenneth Cook and Gillian Lawrence, Deputy Registrar of The Bahamas, Renaldo Toote, Manager of Court Reporting Services of Trinidad & Tobago, Nicole Douglas-Davidson, and Court Reporter for the Judiciary of Trinidad & Tobago, Learie Farray. Key areas emphasized were the realities and challenges of regional dialects, speech to-text technology, successfully blending digital recording and stenographic resources, and storage challenges. The meeting also provided a unique opportunity for members of judiciaries to exchange best practices and to network with regional peers for the first time. Attendees surveyed following the meeting indicated that they were more familiar with digital court recording systems in Caribbean jurisdictions, that it was beneficial to fostering professional regional relationships and were inclined to collaborate with other jurisdictions in this area, adopt best practices, and travel to another country for a site visit. The meeting resulted in an informal agreement on the establishment of a CRDCR Association to continue to maintain collaboration, share ideas, exchange resources and build capacity. NCSC will take steps to formally establish the association. The CRDCR Association will meet virtually on a quarterly basis and discuss various topics of relevance. The CAC program will conduct an in-person yearly meeting among members and sponsor a site visit for members of the Judiciary of Jamaica to observe Guyana’s digital court recording system.
NCSC Staff and Caribbean Delegation at the 1st Annual Digital Court Recording Meeting
DCR expert Kenneth Cook greeting participants at the 1st Annual CRDCR Meeting