Monday, July 15, 2024

The Judiciary in Belize supported to address Gender Based Violence from the UNDP through the EU funded Spotlight Initiative


The Chief Justice, Madam Michelle Arana received equipment to improve the case management of the Judiciary particularly relating to gender-based violence and family matters from the Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP. The equipment and upgraded Case Management Systems (CMS) will enhance the Judiciary’s Court Case Management System with more effective data collection and management informing decision making, accountability and legislative review. Ian King, UNDP Deputy Representative mentioned that “The equipment provide will further enable harmonization of Gender Based Violence (GBV) information system, improving monitoring and evaluation” and the opportunity to better monitor cases from the first report through to closure. Attorney General, Hon. Magali Marin-Young, extended her appreciation for the donation which, she said, was necessary.
The enhancement of the Case Management software and database will ensure that the magistrates would have immediate access to the digital case files. The Information Communication Technology (ICT) Equipment, comprised of laptops, scanners, Smart televisions, hard drives, printers, networking equipment and wiring, and upgrading of
CMS 111 valued at over US $64,000. Chief Justice, Madam Michelle Arana, extended her gratitude for the donation and mentioned that the equipment: (1) will allow for simultaneous recording in multiple courts, create virtual courtrooms across the country, and quick digitization of casefile; (2) will allow for growth and meet the need for more online services; (3) will allow for complainants and witnesses to be present in court virtually, which is ideal for witnesses who are fearful of being in court and for children who are afraid to face the accused; (4) will be used to present digital evidence in criminal matters brought by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), prepared for court by the forensic unit of the Police Department; (5) will aid citizens that are lacking the necessary technology to access the services of the courts; (6) will reduce the need to have prisoners being transported to and from the central prison for preliminary court hearings; (7) will allow the General Registry and the Case Management Unit to work seamlessly with the scanners, network printers, and new web-based software.
The equipment is supported by the Spotlight Initiative, a global investment focused on eliminating all forms of family violence and violence against women and girls (VAWG) initiated by the European Union and the United Nations. The strengthening of the Judiciary Case Management Systems is an activity within the initiative being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Attorney General’s Ministry.

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