President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Patrick Brooks has announced that the nation’s Court of Appeal will be addressing its backlog issues with the use of the Differentiated Case Management (DCM) system.
Brooks, who was speaking with journalists during a ‘Conversation with the Judiciary’ forum earlier today (March 10) at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, said the Appeals Court will soon be completely transformed.
“We are seeking to improve our performance by creating what is called a Differentiated Case Management system. This system is designed to radically transform our court processes. It will help to reduce delays and eliminate the backlog of cases which have been plaguing the court for some time now,” Brooks said.
Essentially, the DCM system is a set of principles and techniques that proportionately matches court resources to the various types of cases, depending on the level of complexity.
According to Brooks, the system provides different paces or results based on the case that is presented.
“We are in our second term of using the system and we’ve had some positive results. Under the system we have established stricter standards for single judges of appeal, to turn around application which they have to consider for leave to appeal.”
He added: “Since last term we have had special panels hearing one of the categories of cases, the simple expedited appeals. The important thing about this particular track of simple expedited appeals is that judges who hear those appeals will, more often than not, deliver their decision on the same day that the appeal is heard.”
Brooks also noted that the aim is to achieve greater efficiency in the processing of cases and, in general, promote efficiency in the delivery of the service by the court.
“DCM is designed to help the courts in general, but the judiciary in particular, to achieve more efficiently process cases, reduce the number of adjournments, reduce delays and backlogs and to provide sound timely judgments and efficient court services to all our people who seek to use the court.”
The appellate court hears decisions from the Supreme Court, parish courts, and specific bodies such as the Real Estate Board and the General Legal Counsel.