INL Supports Best Practices in Case and Docket Management Presentation as part of Judicial Keep-In-Touch (KIT) Series:
On April 29, INL's Caribbean Anti-Crime Grant, implemented by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), convened its 22nd virtual KIT. The program provided a holistic overview of Case and Docket Management and highlighted best practices from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Court of Appeals, and the Judiciary of Guyana’s Magistrates’ Court.
Approximately 236 judges, magistrates and attorneys attended the KIT session from 9 countries: The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago. Attendees included Chief Justices, Magistrates, Attorneys, and Court Administrators. Key speakers included The Hon. Mr. Gregory E. Mize, Zabrina Dempson, Esq. of the Superior Court of DC, Justice Gillian Lucky of the Trinidad and Tobago Court of Appeals, and Shanice Joseph, Chief Clerk of the New Amsterdam Magistrates Court of the Judiciary of Guyana.
Key areas emphasized were the importance of taking responsibility of backlog, and developing case management teams, time standards, case scheduling plans, and hearing guidelines. Presentations also highlighted the role of stakeholder partnership, consistent reporting, and use of technology, and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
A survey was distributed after the program to gauge the level of case management practices in Caribbean courts. The results are illustrated in Figures 1 and 2 below:
Figure 1: Survey responses by KIT participants, as it pertains to their respective countries
Figure 2: Court(s) with a process for backlog reduction in participants’ respective countries
Overall, the KIT demonstrated that for courts to improve its operations, it was necessary to have a strategy; assessment of cases and processes; and team (judges, legal assistants, and court staff) approach to docket and case management.