Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quebec Justice Ministry Wins Technology Prize for Courtroom Modernization

Last week, the Quebec Ministry of Justice was the winner of an OCTAS award for its program of digital recordings of courthouse hearings.

OCTAS awards are handed our annually by the Fédération d'informatique du Québec, an information technology association.

The Ministry of Justice won in the category "Technological Innovation - Firms with more than 250 employees" for its SIIJ project, or Système intégré d'information de justice (Integrated Justice Information System).

In place since about one year ago, SIIJ offers, among other things, a digital recording system installed in 400 courtrooms in some 57 courthouses throughout the province. It has allowed for the creation of a central database of recordings of verbal arguments that are archived for 10 years.

The number of people involved is huge: some 400 judges and their judicial assistants, 400 court clerks, techies, etc.

As one of the largest courtroom digital modernization projects in North America, the interest and impact of SIIJ is obvious. For example, via the SIIJ network, a judge hearing a case in Sept-Iles who has to attend a conference in Montreal can access a high quality audio version of the hearing while in Montreal if he or she needs to.

There is a 2003 description of the principles behind the implementation of SIIJ on the website of the Ministry of Justice of Quebec.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:23 pm


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