Family Court modernised with new electronic portal

(From left) Chief Registrar Michelle John-Theobalds, Chief Justice Dame Janice Pereira, Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin, and Magistrate of the Family Division Veronica Thomas
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By Latrishka Thomas

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Just months after the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) opened a family division within the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda, it has launched a new and modern way of doing business with the family court.

This is through the implementation of an e-litigation portal  for family court matters at the magisterial level.

Magistrate of the Family Division Veronica Thomas, speaking at the ceremony yesterday, indicated that this portal will allow for the more effective and efficient management of family court cases.

“Court users can now expect a more enhanced customer service experience,” she said.

The creation of this technology means that all filing and management of cases will be done electronically, access to information regarding cases will be readily available to litigants, and judicial officers and payments can be managed electronically.

In addition, Thomas shared that a customer service bureau has also been established to assist those who don’t have a lawyer to file their case on the portal.

The portal also allows for part payment of maintenance fees.

Unfortunately, the e-litigation software does not eliminate the need for parents to line up to make payments or collect monies.

It was however revealed by Court Administrator Gregory Girard that online transactions will soon be made possible.

The ECSC’s Information Technology Manager Mark Ernest also shared that plans are underway to place criminal and civil matters into the portal by 2024.

Antigua and Barbuda is the first of nine member states to go live on the Family Court electronic  portal.

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