The ECSC E-Litigation Portal went live in Saint Lucia on Monday, 26th November 2018 for all new Commercial Division and Court of Appeal matters filed on or after this date. The ECSC is encouraged by the Portal usage statistics in Saint Lucia which show that users are taking advantage of the benefits that the Portal offers since the portal went live in Saint Lucia in November 2018.
The ECSC will be rolling out the next phase of the E-Litigation Portal for Saint Lucia which will include all new matters filed in the Civil Division of the High Court (matters being general civil cases, probate cases, adoption cases, admiralty and matrimonial cases). From Monday, 1st July 2019, the court office will no longer be accepting manual filings for new civil matters filed at the High Court. This would mean that the portal will now be available in Saint Lucia for all new proceedings filed in the Civil Division, Commercial Division and Court of Appeal.
This latest roll out of the ECSC E-litigation Portal which will take effect on 1st July 2019 will bring about significant savings in time and money, while improving case management for litigants, practitioners and the Court. Some of the advantages that are expected for the Saint Lucia High Court are ease-of-access, retrieval and portability of court documents. Going forward, the Court will be free from the limitations which paper files impose. These advantages will bring efficiencies to how the Court deals with legal practitioners and unrepresented litigants.
The ECSC’s thrust of providing equal access to justice for all has been augmented with the introduction of the Portal, which provides a range of features not previously experienced or available to unrepresented litigants. A Service Bureau, manned by a member of staff from the Court Office, has been designed to assist and maintain access to the Portal for unrepresented litigants. An unrepresented litigant who wishes to file a matter can visit the Court Office and attend the Service Bureau for assistance with the creation of cases and the management of the filings. The Service Bureau cannot provide legal advice, but operates in accordance with the "Electronic Litigation Filing and Service Procedure Rules" and the processes of the Court.
It must be noted that this latest roll out of the Portal means files will be created, managed and stored electronically. While this primarily affects the Court’s functions, it also provides opportunities for its users to expand how they interact with the Court. The Court has liaised extensively with the legal profession on the roll out, conducting extensive user information and user acceptance training sessions. It is the belief of the ECSC that this milestone implementation phase of the Portal will also foster disaster resilience, which will in turn boost potential and current investor confidence, improve doing business ratings, contract enforcement and other cross-cutting economic and social values.
In an attempt to streamline the impending roll out of this phase of the Portal, the ECSC E-Litigation project team is planning to provide legal practitioners and other interested persons with two additional E-Litigation training sessions, which are scheduled for 3rd and 4th July 2019, from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the National ICT Centre on, Bourbon Street, Castries, opposite The Derek Walcott Square.
Interested attorneys (and law firm staff) are required to register at the ECSC Sub-Office, Upper Floor, Renham Building, No. 2 William Peter Boulevard, Castries. There is a registration fee of 270 XCD per person to attend one of the sessions. Payments are to be made either in the form of cash or bank draft to the ECSC.
The deadline for registration is Friday, 21st June 21st 2019. Interested persons can obtain more information regarding the upcoming training sessions on the ECSC website at: https://www.eccourts.org/e-litigation-portal-notice/
With the rollout of the next phase of the E-Litigation Portal in Saint Lucia it is imperative that legal practitioners and other interested persons take the opportunity to attend the training sessions being planned. Law Firms in Saint Lucia and their staff should ensure that they register for use of the portal and make the necessary payments for their accounts to facilitate the filing of matters via the portal. Manual paper filings will not be accepted by the High Court Office so practitioners should ensure that they are fully registered well before they first expect to use the system, if they are not already registered.
We ask that you stay tuned for further updates and roll outs in your Member State or Territory.
About the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
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), which includes 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 Virgin Islands, and Montserrat. The Court has unlimited jurisdiction in each Member State and Territory.
To learn more about the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the e-Litigation Portal please visit our website at: www.eccourts.org or call us at Tel: 758-457-3600.