Prospects and Challenges Facing E-Court System in Malaysia
By Ani Munirah Mohamad
In many parts of the world, the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in the court system is increasingly contributing to time, case, manpower and cost management strategies. This phenomenon is more widely referred to nowadays as e-court system. For example, the e-court system may allow for e-filing of court documents, and online document retrieval system, such systems are available for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Apart from that, the e-court system may also support court automation system where e-hearings may be conducted by using video conferencing facilities, and online dispute resolution proceedings may be carried out by judges, whilst the parties are not physically present at the same place.
Malaysia is no exception to embark on this new phenomenon. The courts in Sabah and Sarawak have been reported to engage in the e-court system much earlier and their e-court systems are described as more advanced and sophisticated than the courts in West Malaysia. The courts in West Malaysia are also starting to actively engage in the e-court system. This article seeks to discuss the prospects of e-court system in Malaysia, and also to identify the challenges thereto.
The e-court system is believed to bring bright prospects to the nation generally, and to the parties involved specifically. The prospects are, among others, the Malaysian judicial system will be more efficient with improved transparency, and on the other hand, the public’s level of access to the judiciary will increase, thus increasing their level of confidence in the judicial system.
There are a number of enabling factors that promote the implementation of e-court system in Malaysia, the primary factor being the overcoming of current problems relating to courts. First, is the backlog and congestion of cases. There is just too many cases are not settled, yet there are not...