What is judicial case flow management?  According to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, case flow management is basically “a tool that is intended to provide access to justice.”   Judicial case flow management would then be a tool whereby judges facilitate access to justice.

He admitted that the current case flow management measure of the SA Judiciary is unsatisfactory. In the first place, there are too many opportunities to delay the matter between inception and trial. Therefore, cases take too long before it goes to trial.  Presiding officers do not hand judgments down quickly enough.  Accordingly, the courts must implement judicial management measures to ensure access to justice in their jurisdictions.

What are these judicial case flow management measures?

Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms

Various courts implemented alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in an attempt to judicially manage their case flow.  In divorce matters, the parties now have to embark on a mediation process before they can proceed to trial.

Involve judges with the cases from the outset

At present, the judge only gets involved once the dispute is ready for hearing.  The current rules of court leave little room for a judge to intervene in a case before the hearing.  Attorneys and advocates prefer to drive the litigation process because the claimant is “dominus litis”, but it frustrates judges.  Accordingly, in a more modern judicial system, the process is judge driven in stead of litigant driven.  We prefer a judicial case flow method instead of a litigant case flow method.

Reducing the time it takes for cases to go on trial

When the judge takes the driver’s seat, the judge can set and enforce time-limits specific to a lawsuit.  Assuming that the judge and the parties involved work together, you can avoid delays in your case.  Furthermore, the judge becomes familiar with the matter and the issues in dispute that should allow for more effective resolution.

Beter solutions to court document management

The court must ensure that public and private funds are not wasted.  It often happens that the court record is misfiled or gets lost.  The litigants must then make copies of the court record so that the hearing can proceed.

A court filing system that allows for the upload of documents to a web-based portal is vital.  In the long run, the judiciary will save money when they manage court documents appropriately.   The DP Document Manager app helps you to resolve document upload issues.  It is a good support solution to the document requirements required by a judicial case flow management system.

Read further on how to Improve document upload to CaseLines on our blog.