West Africa’s regional court is mulling the prospect of replicating the ‘unique’ judicial service architecture of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in order to provide judges, registry staff and parties with real time access to court processes and facilitate the improved management of cases.

This followed the demonstration of the system on Thursday, 10th May 2018 to a delegation of the Community Court of Justice on a working visit to the International Tribunals in The Hague led by its President, Honorable Justice Jerome Traore.

The President said the CCJ was ‘excited about the potential impact the introduction of the system will have in facilitating the dispensation of justice’ and would ‘explore the possibility of sending some staff to understand its workings within the process for its introduction to the court.’

The computer based legal work flow of the Court is an Information Technology infrastructure that ensures the integration of court processes from the parties into a network accessible to the judges, parties and appropriate registry staff as well as the real time production of transcripts.

The delegation was earlier briefed by Judge Ivana Hrdlickova, the Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber and President of the Tribunal, which was established by the UN Security Council Resolution 1757 of 30th May 2007, primarily to hold trials for those accused of carrying out the attack of 14th February 2005 in Beirut that killed 22 people, including the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and injured many others.

The President spoke of the unique nature of the tribunal as the only international tribunal where trial could be held in absentia and expressed the hope that the STL would become a model for such trials.

She also told the delegation, which also included the other six judges of the ECOWAS court and the Chief Registrar, that 49 per cent of the 59 million Euros budget of the court is provided by the Lebanese government while the remaining 51 per cent comes from contributions from other countries as the court is not funded by the UN even though established by a Resolution of its Security Council.

The delegation was also briefed on the role of the Registry, which accounts for 280 of the 415 Staff of the Court, by Mr. Daryl Mundis, the Registrar of the Court as well as other staff during which they spoke about the various aspects of the activities of the court which has so far handled 261 witnesses and 2,500 exhibits.

The visit to the STL concluded the two day working visit of the CCJ delegation to The Hague during which they held marathon meetings with officials of the Mechanism for International Tribunals, International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.

President Traore said the working visit which enabled the delegation to hold extensive discussions with the tribunals has enriched members of the delegation and better equipped them for contributing to improving the efficiency of the court.