Judge proposes use of Skype to reduce backlog

MASVINGO — High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe has proposed use of latest technology like Skype to expedite the trial of murder cases, cut down on travel costs and reduce the backlog.

Report by Tatenda Chitagu

Officially opening the Masvingo High Court Circuit yesterday, Justice Hungwe urged the courts to consider the use of Skype as well as other information and communication technology (ICT) tools in trying criminal cases so as to cut costs.

“Some of these costs can be curtailed if the criminal trial process is modernised to reduce the length of criminal trials where this can be justly achieved,” Justice Hungwe said.

“There is also need for legislation permitting overseas witnesses to give evidence remotely by video link which could also substantially reduce costs of criminal trials to the public purse. What comes to mind is the role information and communication technology can play in evidence capture, preservation and its eventual presentation during trial.

“In the last 12 months, a total of 110 cases were committed for trial in this High Court Circuit. Out of those, only 23 were completed. Therefore, there is a total of 87 cases pending trial before this circuit. The picture painted by these statistics is a slow justice delivery system. The physical accommodation for criminal trials for outstations in Zimbabwe is disgracefully inadequate.”


10 Responses to Judge proposes use of Skype to reduce backlog

  1. kachemberekekwazvimba February 12, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    How can the judge introduce western technology into our country? Unless the technology is from the east, we do not need it. Even the Comm. in Chief is unlikely to authorise that. If you introduce it we will use the Chinese technology we use to block these pirate radio waves. Pakadii apo comm Webby?

    • Wellywaa February 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

      Either you are trying to be funny or you are simply idiotic. Not sure which.

      • mish February 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

        he is being sarcastic wellwaa

  2. Daddy John February 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Lts nt resist chng in th name of western,hw many western cars do we hv in our cntry,our type of drsng is it nt western,th way we speak english is it nt western,fo you to hv a job u mst hv 5 o’level including english,guys lts nt politicise everythng,in china ey dnt learn english in their skools so we ar totaly dfrent nd besyds china is e world’s no2 in terms of economy nd we…..!?

  3. chokx February 12, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    This is long overdue if we have to save money and deliver justice

  4. tau February 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    good thinking wezhira Hungwe

  5. Lovemore Chikanya February 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    Chinonzi Skype chacho anoziva basa racho here? Icommunication system yakatekeshera nyika dezse hazvina basa kuti uri kuChina kana America. Mahwindos ekutonga munhu ari paari. Anonyanya kusevenzeswa kutonga nyaya dzerape kuti mwana asatye kutaura zvese zvakaitika. Munenge muchitaura naye pascreen ari kwaari. So long maronga chete. Kana vakazviita unotongwa uri kumba kana court iri padhuze nemi. Wazviona ndokutorerutsa backlog yekudaidza vanhu vese kuMasvingo ivo vari nyika mukanza.

  6. Sir African February 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    This man is very innovative but the idea will not be accepted by those in admin.To ask any provincial Magistrate to phone cellphone number from a land line is asking the imposssible. They are still living in the 60s.Internet is just for themselves and not for those not magistrate but thanks to the availability of cheap laptops and internet enabled phones

  7. WeZhira February 13, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Good suggestion, wezhira. This is progressive thinking.Our courts are notorious for justice delivery delays. Thats why domestic violence has gone up —- citizens end up taking the law into their own hands as courts keep on postponing even obvious matters. Evidence get destroyed, corruption comes in. well done Mr.Justice CH.

  8. Sir African February 13, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Justice C Hungwe thinks away ahead of time.The system in our courts is fosiled in the past, in fact the whole legal system is antiqueted and archaic and police lack modern technics such as forensic science to investigate and solve criminal cases.The standards have gone down thats why police officers resort to beating suspect.

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