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22 June, 2024
 
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Legal chaos unleashed as e-justice project collapses

E-justice failure sparks strong reactions

Apostolis Tomaras

Apostolis Tomaras

Four years ago, when physical presence dominated business, the collapse of e-justice dealt a severe blow to the judicial system.

The digital platform's operational debut faced immediate issues, tarnishing the institution's reputation amid ongoing justice reform discussions. Court activities, especially in the initial days, were crippled by the observed shortcomings, prompting strong reactions from lawyers and raising alarms within the government.

The Cyprus Bar Association's Board of Directors threatens dynamic responses if digital platform issues persist beyond Monday. Simultaneously, a civil war erupts, with former PPS president Christos Clerides pointing fingers at the lawyers' leadership.

E-justice system breakdown
Recent updates reveal that the e-justice system crumbled under the weight of massive data, raising questions about its design and preparation. In contrast, the i-Justice platform, established in 2021 during the health crisis, operated seamlessly, highlighting deficiencies in the e-Justice launch and implementation overseen by the press service since 2015.

Challenges unleashed
Lawyers, directly impacted from the onset, point out the digital tool's weaknesses in handling the workload, exacerbated by the absence of contingency plans. Some law firms transitioned abruptly from i-Justice to e-Justice, leading to chaotic situations. The Supreme Court, responding to the turmoil, reinstated physical registrations, initially abolished with i-Justice's implementation. Yet, problems persist, leaving lawyers frustrated on the ground.

Accountability questions
Regardless of problem resolution, assigning blame remains a contentious issue for lawyers. Christos Clerides holds those involved in project tenders, the project contractor, PPS leadership, and the Ministry of Justice accountable for hasty, inadequately monitored decisions. He emphasizes the contrast with i-Justice, which was tested and operated smoothly in a short timeframe.

WPP's commitment
The contractor assures that Monday will see resolutions to the created problems. However, caution prevails among officials about the timeline for problem resolution, acknowledging the system's minimal functionality since last Monday. The vice president of the PPS, Nicolas Tsardellis, acknowledges lawyers' justified agitation, emphasizing the abrupt regression to a state reminiscent of four years ago.

Lawyers' agitation
Vice-President Tsardellis justifies lawyers' agitation, highlighting the operational e-Justice system since 2021. If problems persist beyond Monday, a stronger reaction from members is anticipated, potentially escalating the situation during the Council meeting.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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Cyprus  |  justice  |  lawyers  |  government  |  court

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