CASTRIES, St Lucia — Her Ladyship, the Honourable Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE, LL.D, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) received a donation of ten laptops with carrying cases, on behalf of the Judiciary. The chief justice received the donation at a brief hand-over ceremony held at the ECSC headquarters in Castries, Saint Lucia on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
This donation has been made possible by the generous support of our cooperating partner, the Canadian funded Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project which continues to support the work of regional judiciaries as they continue to devise ways and means of dispensing justice, despite the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic facing the region and the worldwide community. The laptops were handed over by the ECSC’s Information Technology Manager, Mark Ernest on behalf of the JURIST Project.
This donation from JURIST is very timely and significant. It comes at a time when the ECSC is undergoing rapid transformation in retooling and reengineering a number of its processes in an effort to keep the wheels of justice turning. The ten laptops received today, will, without doubt, go a long way toward improving our efficiency in providing access to and the delivery of justice to the citizens and residents of this region. With the advent of COVID-19, we needed to increase our digital and electronic capabilities to enable continued productivity of Court staff working remotely.
The laptops, along with other technology that the court has acquired, including the Zoom Web Conferencing Service, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint, provide effective tools for the operation of the Court in a remote environment. The conduct of remote hearings across the Court’s nine Member States and Territories has become, by necessity, even more commonplace and will shape the way the Court serves the people of the region going forward. The past two months have demonstrated that, armed with modern tools and technology, the Court can continue to render service in an efficient manner even if physical presence is rendered difficult or impossible.
The event gave the chief justice an opportunity to personally thank the project director and other members of staff of the JURIST Project for its continued and unwavering support. The donation of laptops strengthens our relationship which is centred on seeing timely justice and increased access to justice through the modernisation of the court system. The chief justice also expressed her assurance that the laptops will be put to good and immediate use as the ECSC continues to improve and implement its business continuity and resiliency measures.
Every new challenge presents new opportunities once we are prepared to find them. The Court remains focused in its drive to search for innovative and creative ways to overcome the challenges posed by this pandemic to the administration of justice and looks forward to the continued goodwill of and collaboration with all our stakeholders.
The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) was established in 1967 by the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Order No. 223 of 1967. The ECSC is a superior court of record for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), including six Independent States: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and three British Overseas Territories: Anguilla, The Territory of the Virgin Islands, and Montserrat. The ECSC has unlimited jurisdiction in each Member State and Territory.