CCJ, CAJO accept new technology equipment from CanadaMonday, August 02, 2021
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC)— The President of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders says the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has compelled adjustments to the work methods of judges and staff resulting in them being constrained to work from home.
He said that the pandemic has had such an effect on the CCJ it has had to rely heavily on a robust technological infrastructure so as to effectively meet the needs of a geographically dispersed customer base.
“This necessarily required upgraded technology to facilitate the deployment of an entirely virtual courtroom, to cater for full remote work capabilities for the staff, and to enhance the mechanisms and procedures regarding the security of the court's data,” Justice Saunders said as the CCJ and the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) recently accepted information technology equipment from the Canadian-funded Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Justice Peter Jamadar, who is also the CAJO chairman, said that CAJO's virtual classroom was designed in response to the shifting landscape of adult education delivery, and prompted by COVID-19 restrictions.
He said the classroom combines several pieces of technological equipment, to deliver training that transcends the usual virtual learning environment.
“This virtual classroom is critical to the CAJO's innovative and sustainable delivery of judicial education and training across the region. It allows participants to attend and interact with facilitators in a user-friendly setting. It provides a space for facilitators to be interactive and impactful, moving beyond the familiar 'sitting-in-front-of-the-computer' method of delivery. Educators can facilitate sessions as if in an in-person classroom – yet virtually. Teaching, learning, and engaged participation are enhanced in virtual settings.
“Thus, the virtual classroom better positions the CAJO to move judicial education boldly forward in sustainable ways. This capacity allows for the CAJO to expand its reach and offer greater opportunities for regional training and education,” he added.
Senior Development Officer at the Barbados-based High Commission of Canada, Michele Gibson, said the handover was a perfect example of a very sound partnership among the CCJ, regional judiciaries, countries and the Canadian government.
“We have been able to respond to the many needs of the region during these trying times and I really want to applaud the President and Registrar and CCJ for their leadership on discussions, research and development, to look at the issues and challenges we must face during this time,” she added.
Justice Saunders said that the support, provided by the JURIST Project, bolstered the CCJ's ability to continue to deliver its core and related services reliably and safely during the pandemic.
He said more importantly, it has contributed to the achievement of a strategic goal that the court set for itself, namely enhancing regional justice system capacity and performance.
Both Justices Saunders and Jamadar expressed their gratitude to the JURIST Project and Canada saying that they have consistently supported their work and that of the judiciaries across the region. JURIST Project director, Gloria Richards-Johnson, said the project is all about partnerships and collaboration.
“We recognise that without the support of you – our valuable stakeholders within the local jurisdictions where we work, none of our objectives will be achieved. We depend on you to ensure that all initiatives we undertake are sustained long after the Project ends,” she noted.
The JURIST Project is a multi-year (2014-2023) regional Caribbean judicial reform initiative funded under a CAN$19 million arrangement with the government of Canada.
The Project is being executed by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on behalf of the governments of the Caribbean Community (Caricom). The CCJ and other regional partners are also contributing approximately four million Canadian dollars towards the project.
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